Thank You For Conceding Defeat, Buhari Tells Jonathan | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Thank You For Conceding Defeat, Buhari Tells Jonathan

Posted: May 29, 2015 at 1:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•President Presents Handover Notes, Confab Report; Dissolves Cabinet

By Chesa Chesa,  Abuja


President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday hailed President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to concede victory to him after the presidential poll, a situation he said has changed the course of Nigeria’s political history for good.

Speaking at the Presidential Villa, after receiving the outgoing government’s handover notes from the President, Buhari acknowledged that Jonathan had the powers to dispute the polls and “make things difficult” but did not.

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

He said Jonathan’s action has earned him a respectable place in the minds of Nigerians and world leaders, who have called him to express relief that the nation was able to get it right after all.

Promising to read and digest the contents of the handover notes before making any strong policy statements, Buhari said Jonathan’s statesmanly act has strengthened the nation’s democracy.

His words: ”What I will say is that since the telephone call you made (to me), you have changed the course of Nigeria’s political history.

“For that, you have earned yourself a place in our history, for stabilising this system of multi-party democracy system and you have earned the respect of not only Nigerians but world leaders.

“All the leaders that spoke to me and congratulated us for arriving at the point we arrived, mentioned this and I could understand a lot of relief in their voices that Nigeria has made it after all and this is largely owed to your decision.

“If you had attempted to make things difficult, you could have made things difficult; and that would have been at the expense of lives of poor Nigerians.

“But you chose the path of honour and may God help all of us. Thank you very much Your Excellency.”

Jonathan used the opportunity to present a copy of the main report of the National Conference to Buhari, and urged him to implement the recommendations for the benefit of the nation.

The President said he considered the confab report more important than the handover notes, because it addresses most of Nigeria’s challenges, including corruption, which many people have complained about.

“To me this is more important than the handover notes. The handover notes are the activities of an administration, it shows where we started… where we are going, in some of the cases you’ll follow, in other cases you may take another angle.

“But this is a document that was compiled by Nigerians, the report of the National Conference 2014. We gathered almost 500 Nigerians from all walks of life.

“They were not influenced by government in any way, and most of the recommendations here, if followed, most of the grey areas, even in our politics will be smoothened out.

“Most of the areas where people complain bitterly – corruption and everything – this document deals with them. Some people here were members of that great body of about 500 eggheads.

“We were unable to implement because of the shortness of time but we have sent a copy to the National Assembly. It is a document that we are very hopeful that your government will look into it and give it the attention it requires, he added.”

Before handing over the two documents, Jonathan had underscored his outgoing government’s commitment to doing its best toward impacting positively on key aspects of national life.

“There is no doubt that challenges still abound but they are surmountable and overwhelming national transformation remains realisable, with continuity, commitment and consistency.

“Nigeria is blessed with citizens that will always remain faithful, firmly committed to national unity, accelerated political, social and economic development.

“As we hand over the reins of government, I believe that our nation is secure, our democracy is stable, and the future is bright. Let us all work together and with greater resolve, continue to build a stronger and more prosperous nation”, Jonathan added.

The handover of the documents followed a familiarisation tour of some Aso Rock offices by Buhari and Vice-President elect, Yemi Osinbajo, conducted by Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo, and accompanied by senior aides of both teams.

Buhari’s delegation comprised Ahmed Joda; Rotimi Amaechi; Audu Ogbeh; Ogbonnaya Onu; Garba Shehu; Lai Mohammed; Tam David-West and others.

Meanwhile, President Jonathan has dissolved the Federal Executive Council (FEC), after a special handover dinner in honour of Buhari and Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa on Thursday night.