President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the former president Goodluck Jonathan, This Day reports.
Buhari said it is unbelievable that Jonathan conceded defeat to him after the 2015 presidential election
He said he was surprised that Jonathan called to congratulate him even when he had all the power to destabilise the system
President Buhari said on Friday that he was still marveled that former president Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat after loosing the 2015 presidential election.
While hosting 18 supporters of the national working committee of the All Progressives Congress in his residence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari said it still unbelievable that despite being an incumbent president with all the state powers, Jonathan called him on the phone to concede.
The president said: ” Bearing in mind that having stayed for so long in the corridors of power, he could deploy all the arsenals within his reach to destabilise the system.
He (Jonathan) rang me and said, ‘Your Excellency,’ and l said, ‘Your Excellency sir.’ He said ‘l ring to congratulate you.’ I will not forget the time. He said ‘l ring to congratulate you that l have conceded defeat, congratulations.’ He said ‘did you hear me?’ I said ‘yes sir. Thank you very much for your statesmanship’ because after being a deputy governor, governor, vice president and president for six years, for him to take that decision… because he could cause some problems having stayed long enough in his capacity.’
Further decrying claims that he hates the people of Igbo extraction, President Buhari said such allegation hit him hard.
He also said the allegations that he despises the Igbo people is unjustifiable.
The president recalling his political feats and experience since 2003, said he has since assuming office favoured the southeast region which gave him meagre votes more than the North where he said got the bulk of votes at the 2015 presidential election in his cabinet.
“But to cap it all, let me tell you what hits me very hard. In the three geo-political zones of the North, seven of the states have junior ministers but in southeast where l got 198,000 votes which any local government in other geo-political zones gave me, l have four substantive ministers and l have junior ministers from seven states of the north.
“So, for the problem of this country, please look at the people more than yourself. Don’t allow anybody to bring that allegation of ethnic bigotry. It is not true. They don’t mean it,” he said.
Narrating his ordeal during and after his arrest, President Buhari said: “I will never forget the three times that l was in Supreme Court. l virtually refused to give up and l know what we all went through. So, this last one, with technology and determination of Nigerians, this PVC made sure that wherever you registered, you vote there and your vote will count there and the same time, you go for voter education.”
“So, please, you are the side group of 60 persons that l felt l had to invite.
Let’s reason together and sit down here for the group to solve the problems of this country and l will want us to reflect on the historical scenes before l arrived here.
“When l was in uniform, l was reckless. I got all the ministers and governors. I put them in Kirikiri. I said ‘you are guilty and you can prove yourself innocent.’ But l too was put away for three and half years.
“I decided to drop the uniform and come back here. So, really, l have gone through it over and over again. That is why I’m not in a hurry to do anything but will sit down and reflect and continue in clear conscience. Thank you for accepting my invitation. Please, if l don’t ring you, if l don’t call for a moment, l never forget how you supported me at one stage or the other from 2003 till now,” the president added.