Thursday, 4 August 2016

Why I visit Presidential Villa - Jonathan spoke to State House correspondents

“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.  

Jonathan spoke to State House correspondents after holding a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. 


His response followed questions on his role towards ensuring peace and stability in the Niger Delta. He said: “It’s not just about me but about all the traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders that are of Ijaw ethnic nationality. We have been in touch to see that peace reigns in the country. 

“Those who 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 produce more oil than Nigeria, nobody notices them. We are great because of our size, the human resources we have, the diversity we have. If we fragment the country, 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.” My mission in Villa Speaking on his mission to the villa, Jonathan said he was there to brief President Buhari on his emergence as the leader of African Union, AU, elections monitoring team to Zambia. He said: “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 engagements, that have to do with public addresses and some international assignments become national assignments, you brief the President. “Even when I was here, 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.” I’ll talk at appropriate time on corruption The former President, however, denied comments on the corruption saga in the country, saying he would speak at the appropriate time. “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,” he said. Jonathan, who arrived the Presidential Villa at exactly 1:55pm, left at about 2:18 pm. Anenih a great asset to Nigeria Meanwhile, former President Jonathan also, yesterday, described former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of  Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, as a great asset to the country. In a congratulatory message to Chief Anenih who is 83 years old today, Jonathan said it would be placed on record the elder statesman’s wisdom, patriotism and time-honoured commitment to the strengthening of democracy and national growth. Jonathan said:  “I wish to most sincerely congratulate you on your 83rd birthday.   

I am glad the Almighty God has blessed you with the grace of long life and good health, in accordance with your manifest dedication to national development. “There is no doubt that you have been a great asset to our dear nation while serving her in various capacities, especially in the critical areas of politics, peace building and security systems. “Nigerians and the people of your home state will continue to be grateful to you because of your wisdom, patriotism and time-honoured commitment to the strengthening of our democracy and national growth. You are a natural leader of the people and you have demonstrated that clearly over the years.”