Written by Isiaka Wakili
Diezani arrived in Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja two minutes after Abdulsalami had entered Jonathan’s office.
About 27 minutes later, the former head of state, who also head the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections, stepped out of the meeting, while Diezani stayed back with the president.
It was not clear for how long the minister stayed with Mr. Jonathan. Reporters who cover the Presidential Villa didn’t noticed when she departed.
It was however thought that she left via a different exit to avoid being accosted by the press.
The details of the meeting were also not made public.
Diezani had been in the news lately when she suddenly disappeared from the public and was rumoured to have travelled abroad for undisclosed reason.
An online media run a report that she had gone in search of asylum but that so far six countries had denied her such request.
The NNPC however refuted the claim. It said in a statement Wednesday that the minister had travelled abroad to rest and would be back this week.
Reports say that the oil minister has been ‘restless’ since General Muhammadu Buhari defeated President Jonathan in the general election and is billed to take office on May 29.
A photograph of the minister during her visit to Abdulsalami’s house in Minna recently went viral on the social media.
It was alleged that she went to seek for his intervention, fearing that the incoming government of Buhari would probe the NNPC over allegations of fraud.
Speaking to State House journalists after the meeting, Abdulsalami said only mischief makers would read meanings to Diezani’s visit to him and their meeting yesterday with Jonathan.
“I think people are just trying to be mischievous. I’ve been meeting with a lot of people and a lot of ministers in the course of this transition.
“So, there is nothing strange in me meeting with anybody. I wonder if you go through your records to see the number of meetings I’ve been engaging in. I don’t know why the last one will be a subject of media chat.
“This is not the first time I’ve been meeting her (Diezani) and a number of ministers. So, I don’t see what the whole hullabaloo is all about. People are just being mischievous”, he said.
The former leader said he was at the Villa in furtherance of his duty as chairman of the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections.
He said he decided to continue to meet with Jonathan and Buhari in order to ensure a smooth handover and to maintain peace.
He said in view of the election disturbances in some states, Jonathan and Buhari as well as the chairmen of the various parties still had roles to play.
On the general elections, Abdulsalami said Nigerians must thank God, as well as Jonathan for his statesmanship and Buhari for cautioning his followers on excessive celebrations.
“As the chairman of the peace committee, there is always interaction between the incoming and President Jonathan, in order to ensure that the peace we have been able to get is sustained. So, naturally, I’m here to touch base with him and also to give him a report of what the committee has been doing,” he said.
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