President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the President-elect, Muhammudu Buhari not to discard the recommendations and findings of the 2014 National Conference.
The President said this, Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at the Presidential Villa, after being given the “Peace-Loving Global Citizen” award by the Universal Peace Forum, a organisation led by prominent lawyer, Mike Ozehkome.
While appealing to General Buhari to bear in mind the good contributions made by Nigerians towards nation-building regardless of political party or creed, he was also optimistic that the new administration would take the time to appreciate the contributions of Nigerians in the efforts to build a greater nation.
According to the Vanguard, the President enjoined Nigerians to remain committed to the unity of the nation, saying all must be ready to make sacrifices:
“We have our challenges, of course. We had a national conference; the idea of the conference is to look at these weak cleavages we have in this country. And we just finished that conference and we are thinking about how to implement it so that Nigeria will become stronger and united nation. I cannot be a party to the disintegration of the country.”
In addition, he said: “I’m quite pleased with what has happened. We have a country; our country will be more united. I believe and do 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.”
The president asserted that he would not be party to the disintegration of Nigeria, noting that that was one of the reasons he conceded defeat after the March 28 presidential polls.
According to him: “I took that decision (to concede to Buhari) because I told those around me that no matter the ambition, the nation comes first.”
Human rights activist and lawyer, Mr. Ozekhome, commended the President’s gesture during the presidential polls, noting that his gesture had positively put Nigeria on the global map.
Ozekhome said: “Given your uncommon, almost unnatural gesture of conceding victory to your opponent, we want you to go back to Otuoke a very proud man.
“You are the greatest democrat we have ever had in this country. History will be fair to you.”
He, however, warned President Jonathan that he would not have much rest after office since he would be invited to several world bodies to lend his experience and advice to democracy.
Mr. Ozekhome described the President as a global peace ambassador, and announced the nomination of the President to the board of the Universal Peace Forum in place of former head of state, Ernest Shonekan, who stepped down recently.