President Muhammadu Buhari today received in Audience H. E Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President at Statehouse today 3rd August 2016.
Speaking to journalists after the August meeting, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan said that there is no alternative to one united Nigeria despite the militancy in the Niger Delta region and calls by groups for division of the country.
Jonathan spoke on Wednesday with State House correspondents after about 20 minutes closed doors meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Speaking on his mission to the Villa, he said he was there to brief President Buhari on his emergence as the leader of African Union, AU elections monitoring team to Zambia.
“You asked why I came to see the President today, one key thing is that having been a head of a government, a former president you become a state property.
That’s the privilege you have but every privilege has its corresponding responsibility, and once you become a state property, most of your international engagement, that has to do with public addresses and some international assignment becomes a national assignment, you brief the President.
“Even when I was here the former presidents used to do that and see me.
I have been coming. Most times, I come in the night that’s why you don’t see me. I came to brief the President about some of my engagements. As you are aware, I will be leading the AU elections monitoring team to Zambia.
I came to brief the President about some of these external engagements. It is the tradition”, he said.
Jonathan said it won’t be in the best interest of Nigeria if it is fragmented into small components.
Stressing that there can’t be meaningful development without peace, the ex-President said he has been working with other elders and stakeholders to ensure that peace reign in the Niger Delta area.
The Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups have been bombing and destroying oil pipelines in the region.
Jonathan said: “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 here, my emphasis is that we need a united Nigeria and I always emphasize that Nigeria is great not just about the oil, so many countries produces more oil than Nigeria and nobody notices them.
“We are great because of our size, the human resources we have, the diversity we have, if we fragmentize the country into small components, we will be forgotten by the world.
“That has 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.”
Jonathan, however, declined to speak extensively on the anti-corruption war being waged by the current administration that had revealed many wrongdoings during his tenure.
“I don’t want to talk about that one 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 things are resolved,” the ex- President stated