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‘I made a choice to keep the country away from conflict’ – President Jonathan

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President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 said he conceded defeat following the Saturday, March 28, 2015 presidential election in order to avoid conflict in the country.

President Jonathan made the remark while receiving members of the African Ambassadors’ Group, who had come to pay the President a farewell and solidarity visit.

According to a statement issued by Reuben Abati, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Jonathan said he took the decision because he had been involved in several peace keeping missions in African countries and did not want the same situation to be witnessed in Nigeria.

President Jonathan said: “I believe that character matters in leadership. And it is not just about who becomes the President of a country, but somebody has to be there and the person needs the support of all to succeed.

“I made a choice to keep the country away from conflict.

“I have always advised other African leaders that we will need to have a country before we can have the ambition to become President.

“We don’t have to expose our people to deaths because we want to stay in power. Some people hold on to power, may be, for fear of the unknown.

“I have been involved in solving many problems in African countries for more than five years and I know the enormity and cost of conflicts, especially on the citizenry. We cannot afford that in Nigeria.

“If we were to have a political conflict in Nigeria, I am not sure the sub-region will be able to accommodate our citizens.

“My commitment is to always put the country before my personal ambition and that is what I have demonstrated.

“The President-elect is not new to governance in Africa so I want you to show the same commitment to him as you have to me. The President-elect knows that our commitment is always to project Africa. I am urging you to extend the same warmth and solidarity you have shown to me to him.”

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