by: Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

 

… Consoles Obasanjo over sister’s death

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday declared that he can never be a party to moves or plans to disintegrate Nigeria.President-Goodluck-Ebele-Jonathan

The President spoke when he was decorated with the “Peace-Loving Global Citizen” Award by the Universal Peace Federation led by prominent lawyer, Mike Ozehkome, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Jonathan said he conceded defeat in the March 28 presidential election in the interest of the country 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 those 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 know about the prediction of Nigeria disintegrating, and anything could have made that prediction to 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 Buhari administration 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 parts of the country in the efforts to build a greater nation.

Meanwhile, President Jonathan on Tuesday commiserated with former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the death of his younger sister, Madam Adunni Oluniola Eweje-Obasanjo.

The President, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, joined Chief Obasanjo and his family in mourning the late Eweje-Obasanjo who died recently at the age of 76.

He urged the ex-President and his family to be consoled by the knowledge that the deceased lived a worthy and very fulfilled life in the service of her family and community.

“The President prays that God will grant Chief Obasanjo and his family the fortitude to bear the loss of Madam Eweje-Obasanjo,” the statement added.

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