By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North; Ben Agande, Levinus Nwabughioguand Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA —”Since the telephone call you made, you have changed the course of Nigeria’s political history and for that you have earned yourself a place in our history, for stabilising multi-party democratic system and you have earned the respect of not only Nigerians but world leaders”.
These words from the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari to out-going President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, summed up the mood at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa as President Jonathan presented hand-over notes to his successor, Buhari, who will be sworn in today.
Speaking at the Presidential Villa after receiving the hand-over notes as well as the report of the National Conference from President Jonathan, Buhari said by the singular phone call that Jonathan made to him conceding defeat, he has changed the course of the nation’s political history.
According to Buhari, by choosing to concede defeat, President Jonathan saved the lives of many Nigerians that would have been lost if he had insisted on sitting tight.
He said President Jonathan was capable of using the power of incumbency to scuttle the electoral process at the expense of the lives of poor Nigerians, but he chose to toe the path of honour and selflessness.
Buhari continued: “All the leaders who spoke to me and congratulated us for arriving at the point we arrived, mentioned this and I could understand a lot of relief in their voices that Nigeria has made it after all and this is largely owed to a situation.
“You could have made things difficult and that would have been at the expense of lives of poor Nigerians, but you chose the path of honour and may God help all of us. Thank you very much, Your Excellency,” he said.
The hand-over notes
On his part, President Jonathan told Buhari before handing over the notes as well as the report of the National Conference that “this will give you (Buhari) a mission statement of the commitment of this government for the past five years and the directions we are going that will help you to navigate.
“It is my pleasure, on behalf of the Vice-president, members of the executive council and other senior functionaries to formally hand over these notes to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the President-elect who will assume office tomorrow (today). Congratulations.
“There is another document that I will hand over to you; to me this is more important than the hand over notes. The hand-over notes contain the activities of an administration, showing where we started, where we are going. In some of the cases you may follow, in other cases you may take a different approach. Read More →
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