Mr. Abati said in his first major interview in the October/November edition of The Interview out next week, that Mr. Jonathan was, “a victim of power game” and the vicious propaganda of the opposition.
“All they could focus on,” he said, “was trying to discredit the president. They called him clueless, they said he was incompetent, they said he was a drunkard!”
In a separate interview also featured in the coming edition of The Interview, Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed a different view.
Mr. Adesina said he knew Mr. Jonathan would lose and was not surprised when it happened. “If Jonathan had won the election,” he said, “Nigeria would have shut down.” The government, he said, had run out of steam.
Mr. Abati spoke on the last days of Mr. Jonathan in Aso Rock; his own controversial retraction of the article against Mr. Buhari; the attitude of moneybags who abandoned Jonathan in his moment of need, his relationship with former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, and his love-hate drama with many of his passionate fans.
Mr. Adesina was no less forthright. He spoke on Mr. Buhari’s style, the war on corruption and Boko Haram, the CBN’s policy of defending the naira, and his relationship with the president.
The edition, which its publishers say will leave readers on the edge of their chairs, also contains interviews with the incoming vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Abel Olayinka; a conversation with Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi; and an insight by social entrepreneur, Chude Jideonwo on how Red Media Africa ran Mr. Buhari’s election campaign.