Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
Former President Goodluck Jonathan on
Wednesday refused to comment on the various
cases of corruption so far instituted against his
former ministers and aides by the present
Jonathan evaded the question during an interview
he had with State House correspondents shortly
after he met President Muhammadu Buhari behind
closed doors inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The former President said he would only speak on
the corruption cases when all the matters had
been resolved in courts.
“I don’t want to talk about that one (corruption
cases) 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,” Jonathan said as he made his
way to his car.
When asked about the role he was playing to end
the renewed violence in the Niger Delta, the former
President said he and other leaders in the region
had been in touch with those fomenting trouble on
the need to give peace a chance.
He reiterated his position that Nigeria could not
afford to break up, saying that the country would
no longer be relevant among the comity of nations
once it was fragmented.
The former President argued that the country’s
greatness could not be attributed to its oil but its
diversity and size.
He said, “It is 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 of you that have followed my talks when I
was here (in the Presidential Villa) know that my
emphasis is that we need a united Nigeria.
“I always emphasise that Nigeria is great not just
about the oil. So many countries produce more oil
than Nigeria and nobody notices them.
“We are great because of our size; the human
resources we have; and the diversity we have. If
we fragmentise the country into small components,
we will be forgotten by the world.
“That has been my focal position. Without peace,
there cannot be development anywhere in the
world. We are all working collectively to see that
the issues are resolved.”
On the purpose of his visit to the President,
Jonathan said it was traditional for former Nigerian
leaders to brief the sitting President of their
He said he seized the opportunity of the visit to
brief Buhari of his past engagements and the
coming one which would see him leading the
African Union Elections Monitoring Team to
“One key thing is that having been a head of a
government, a former President has become a
state property. That is the privilege one has but
every privilege has its corresponding
“Once you become a state property, most of your
international engagements that have to do with
public addresses and some international
assignments become a national assignment; you
have to brief the President.
“Even when I was here, former Presidents used to
do that and see me. I have been coming, but most
times I come in the night and that is why you don’t
“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 this
external engagements. It is the tradition,” he said.
The meeting which lasted less than 20 minutes
was held inside the President’s office.
Jonathan arrived for the meeting in a black Range
Rover marked KWL 86 CN and was received at the
forecourt of the President’s office by one of
Buhari’s aides at about 1.55pm.
He came out of the President’s office at about