Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammad Buhari (Rtd.), has met behind closed doors with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The meeting took place inside the Presidential Villa and was handled as a strictly private affair.
It was the first time the two leaders would be meeting since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Buhari winner of the March 28 presidential election.
More details soon.
President Goodluck Jonathan and President-elect, Gen. Muhammad Buhari (rtd.), may have quietly commenced the process of handing over power as the duo met on Friday behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Sources said the meeting was part of the transition arrangement of the President.
Also, the President promised to speak on his experience while in office, as well as on other issues of interest, “when the time is ripe.”
The meeting yesterday in Abuja was the first by Jonathan and Buhari after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared All Progressives Congress’s candidate winner of the March 28 presidential election.
The consultation which was described as "private" was held at the new Banquet Hall inside the President's office. No statement was issued after the meeting.
Meanwhile, President Jonathan has promised to speak on his experience while in office, as well as on other issues of interest, “when the time is ripe.”
The president who spoke when State House correspondents approached him for a chat at the end of the Good Friday service organised by the Aso Villa Chapel refused to disclose the appropriate time that he would speak..
"Don't worry, I will talk to you at the appropriate time," Jonathan said.
The President subsequently smiled and walked to his official residence at the Villa.
The seven short exhortations that accompanied the seven lessons all centred on the sacrifice the preachers said Jonathan made to keep the country united.
The clergies said Jonathan's decision to concede defeat in the last Saturday's presidential poll, as well as congratulating the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), was akin to the sacrifice Jesus Christ made to safe mankind.
The preachers commended the bold steps taken by Jonathan.
According to the preachers, Jonathan's future was in God's hands and charged him to remain focused.
"This man (Jonathan) said here that he was the most criticised President and he prophesied that by the time he would be leaving, he will be the most celebrated President.
"That has come to pass with the way he is being celebrated worldwide for conceding defeat" a clergy who prayed said.
Jonathan was joined in the church service by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State; and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy-Okpara.
Others were the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Joan Ayo; Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Ima Niboro; and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali.
Presidency: Presidential Election, Test Case for Maturity of Nigeria Democracy…
In a related development, the ripples of the March 28 presidential election continued on Friday with the presidency saying that the election was a test case for the survival of Nigeria's democracy and commended Jonathan for rising to the occasion.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja said the saving grace of the historic election was the candour, conduct and comportment of Jonathan whom he said, "has elevated himself to the status of an eternal hero and a champion of democracy."
Alkali observed that in spite of the glaring irregularities and inconsistencies of the electoral process, Jonathan took the unprecedented step of conceding to his opponent, even before the result was formally announced.
"It is a well-known fact that President Jonathan has always been passionate about the unity, progress and development of Nigeria. His bold step has once more strengthened the bedrock of unity in Nigeria and has deepened democratic governance in the country," he stated.
According to him, Jonathan’s participation in the election was not for his personal interest but for the advancement of a united and prosperous Nigeria.
He added that the president expanded the democratic space by allowing an opposition group to flourish, noting that in a number of countries around the world, “there are countless examples of interventions to scuttle opposition parties including systematic efforts by government to undermine their leadership.”
The Presidential aide said: “It is to President Jonathan’s credit that the two general elections conducted under his watch have been adjudged the best in the history of the country. He has therefore reached a moral high ground and shall continue to be a source of inspiration to all who believe in Nigeria’s democracy.
"There is no doubt that passions were sometimes inflamed in the course of the campaigns. However, the ultimate goal has always been to strengthen and develop institutions in the country. The election was a test case for the maturity of our democracy. President Jonathan has led us through this test in flying colours."
He commended Nigerians and security agencies for effective management of security during and after the elections.
Sources: Channels TV, Thisday
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