Jonathan In Closed Door Meeting With Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Jonathan In Closed Door Meeting With Buhari

Jonathan & Buhari
Posted: Aug 4, 2016 at 4:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

  * Will Speak On Dasukigate After Court Cases

* Warns Militancy Will make Nigeria Irrelevant



Innocent Oweh

AbujaFormer President Goodluck Jonathan yet again refused to comment on allegations of financial sleaze which have trailed his government since May, 2015, when he left Aso Rock Villa.

Confronted by State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to speak on the alleged cases of corruption being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), especially the arms scandal that has reverberated around his former Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, he preferred to keep his opinions under wraps.

Tactically, the ex-president maintained that all he had to say on the buzzing issue would be made public after legal procedures on them had taken their full course.

He said: “I do not want to talk about that because there are too many cases that are in court; it will not be fair to make comments.

“I will talk at the appropriate time, when most of these cases are resolved.”

Ex-President Jonathan warned against the pockets of violence rocking the country, some of which had resulted in damage to public infrastructure.

He said the development, if left unchecked, could fragmentise the country and diminish its relevance within the international community.

He spoke against the backdrop of militant crisis in the Niger Delta region, including agitations by regional groups for succession.

Jonathan, who ruled the country between 2010 and 2015, also criticised too much emphasis on oil as the mainstay of the economy, noting that some other nations of the world produce more oil products than Nigeria but kept less emphasis on it.

According to the ex-president, concerns for the unity of Nigeria informed why he volunteered to intervene in the militant crisis in the Niger Delta region.

He said he had already established contacts with the Ijaw ethnic nationality, its traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders some of whom could influence the resolution of the crisis.

“If we fragmentise the country into small components, we will be forgotten by the world.

“That has always been my focal position and without peace there cannot be development anywhere in the world.

“We are all working collectively to see that issues are resolved, it’s not just about me but about all the traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders that are of the Ijaw ethnic nationality.

“We have been in touch to see that peace reigns in the country, those of you that have followed my talks when I was president, my emphasis has always been that we need a united Nigeria and I keep emphasising that Nigeria is great not just because of the oil, so many countries produce more oil than Nigeria, nobody notices them.

“We are great because of our size, the human resources we have, the diversity we have.”

Jonathan arrived Aso Rock at exactly 1.57pm in a black Range Rover jeep with registration number KWL 86 CN.

He was in Aso Rock to brief President Buhari on his mandate as AU team leader to monitor the forthcoming election in Zambia.

The ex-president was recently appointed to lead African Union Elections Observation Mission (AUEOM) to the Zambian general elections scheduled to take place on October 11, 2016.

He would be leading members of the short term mission to join the continental body’s deployment of long term election experts who are already on ground in Zambia.

Responding to questions directed to him by State House correspondents on his mission to the Presidential Villa, he said: “I came to brief the president about some of my engagements.

“You are aware I will be leading the AU elections monitoring team to Zambia, I came to brief the president about some of this external engagement because it is the tradition.

“One key thing is that having been a former president, you become a state property.

“That’s a privilege you have but every privilege has its corresponding responsibility, and once you become a state property, most of your international engagements that have to do with public addresses and some international assignment become a national assignment, you brief the president.

“Even when I was here, the former presidents used to do same by coming to see me. I have been a regular visitor here, most times I come in the night, that’s why you don’t see me.”