Yar’Adua and Jonathan related like brothers — Niboro, Adeniyi

President Goodluck Jonathan and late President Umaru Yar’Adua enjoyed a brotherly relationship, despite the unfortunate incidents that occurred during the last days of the immediate past administration, Special Adviser to the President, Mr. Ima Niboro, and his predecessor, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, admitted on Wednesday night.

They spoke separately at a send-forth dinner held in honour of Adeniyi at the Banquet Hall of the State House.

The occasion was to mark Adeniyi’s resignation from office as president’s spokesman, as well as his imminent departure to the United States, where he is to resume a fellowship programme at Harvard University.

Both men dismissed reports of the existence of a “cabal,” and the rumoured power struggle in the Presidency in the days following Yar’Adua’s medical trip to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Contrary to reports of feud between members of the pro-Yar’Adua cabal and Jonathan’s loyalists in the presidency in those days, Niboro and Adeniyi said the Presidential Villa was united.

“I am sure there would be some Nigerians, perhaps many Nigerians, who would be surprised that the spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan is hosting to dinner in the Presidential Villa someone considered a member of the ‘cabal,’ whatever that means.

“But such people know so little about the Villa because notwithstanding the unfortunate events of the last few months of President (Umaru) Yar’Adua’s life, he and President (Goodluck) Jonathan related like brothers.

“And so did all the staff,” Niboro said.

Commending Adeniyi’s work in the Villa, Niboro described him as a “distinguished predecessor.”

Niboro also noted that he and Adeniyi had been friends and colleagues “from our days as practicing journalists in Lagos.”

“We also had the pleasure of working harmoniously from May 2007 till he resigned in May 2010,” Niboro added.

In his remarks at the event, Adeniyi noted that the fact that a dinner was organised in his honour indicates that there was a brotherly relationship between late Yar’Adua and Jonathan.

He pointed out that Jonathan must have approved the dinner before it could be held.

“I understand the Presidential Villa enough to know that nothing moves without the President and that if President Jonathan doesn’t approve of this occasion, it would not hold.

“So, I thank him for his generousity of spirit and this kind gesture of his.”

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