President Goodluck Jonathan has opened up on his loss to General Muhammadu Buhari, stating how his preference of a peaceful Nigeria over political goals informed his decision to accept defeat at the last elections.
President Jonathan says he could not be a part of the process to disintegrate a country he had been a part of, especially seeing how there is a need for national unity and peace for continued existence.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja as he hosted a delegation of Universal Peace Federation led by Constitution lawyer and human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome (SAN); Goodluck Jonathan declared his readiness to dedicate his life to peace and unity in Nigeria and across the continent.
“I took that decsion (conceding defeat) because I told people around me that no matter the ambition anybody has, you must have a nation first; and I use 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”, Jonathan said.
“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 out to be Imams or pastors; while some of them turn out to be armed robbers. So, if persons criminal are or somebody who is very vindictive, somebody who by nature doesn’t care that people are 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 knew about the prediction of Nigeria disintegrating, and anything could have made that prediction come true; afterall, we fought a civil war for more than three years before as a nation.
“We have our challenges, of course, we had a national conference; the idea of the conference is to look at these weak cleverges we have in this country. And we had just finished that conference and we were thinking about how to implement it so that Nigeria will become stronger and more united as a nation. I cannot be a party to the disintegration of the country.
“But I’m quite pleased with what has happened, we have a country; our country will be more united. I believe and pray that the incoming government should appreciate the contributions of everybody and see how we run Nigeria as a country that belongs to everybody, for all citizens; irrespective of political persuasion or creed; so that is what I stand for.”
At the event, the President was appointed as Nigeria’s Respresentative at the Global Peace Council to replace former head of Interim National Government (ING), Chief Earnest Shonekan.