Jonathan speaks! I can’t be a party to Nigeria’s disintegration

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday declared that he would never be involved in moves to disintegrate Nigeria.

He spoke when he was decorated with the “Peace-Loving Global Citizen” Award by the Universal Peace Federation led by Lagos lawyer Mike Ozekhome at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, he conceded defeat in the March 28 Presidential election in the interest of Nigeria and that he could not withstand deaths of Nigerians over his political ambition.
He said: “I took that decision because I told people around me that no matter the ambition anybody has, you must have a nation first; and I used to say that even if I should be the President for the next 25 years, I will not be a happy person if so many Nigerians are killed because of me.

“One thing is to hold office; another thing is to be happy to satisfy your conscience. Yes there are different human beings. If you look at the behaviour of some people, even among siblings of the same family, some of them could turn to be Imams or Pastors; while some of them are armed robbers.

“So, if persons have that characters of criminal or somebody who is very vindictive, somebody who is by nature doesn’t care that people were dying; then of course even if half your country men and women are dying, you may celebrate it.
“But fortunately for me, God didn’t create me that way. And I cannot take it. So, I believe that for us to hold any office we want to, we must have a nation.

“Everybody knows about the prediction of Nigeria disintegrating, and anything could have made that prediction come through; after all we fought a civil war for about three years before as a nation.”
He reminded the gathering that his Vice-President, Namadi Sambo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also deserved the encomiums poured on him since his historic telephone call to congratulate the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari after the March 28 poll.

The President urged the incoming government of President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to appreciate the good contributions of every Nigerian towards nation-building irrespective of political party or creed.
Jonathan made reference to the National Conference report which he was looking forward to implement before he lost the presidential poll in March.

He was optimistic that the incoming administration would take time to appreciate such contributions of Nigerians from every part of the country in the efforts to build a greater nation.
He said: “We have our challenges, of course, we had a national conference; the idea of the conference is to look at these weak cleavages we have in this country.

“And we just finished that conference and we are thinking about how to implement it so that Nigeria will become more stronger and united nation. I cannot be a party to disintegration of the country.
“But I’m quite pleased with what has happened; we have a country; country will be more united. I believe and do pray that the incoming government should appreciate the contributions of everybody and see how we run Nigeria as a country that belongs to everybody, for all citizens; irrespective of political persuasion or creed; so that is what I stand for.”

The Nation

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