Former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he briefed President Mohammadu Buhari on the unfolding political development in Mali after which he praised his successor for continuing with the legacy projects of previous administrations.
President Buhari had recently named the Warri-Itakpe railway route – the Agbor railway facility and station after the former President.
Reacting to the development while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after their closed-door meeting, Jonathan, who said he had already written a letter of appreciation to President Buhari, also commended him for carrying on with the railway programme and other legacy projects inherited from previous administrations.
The former President said, what Buhari has done was the proper thing to do.
Responding to the projects named after him, he said, “Let me use this opportunity to commend Mr President publicly. I’ve already sent a letter to appreciating. It’s a good gesture.
“And completing the railway programme is good. It shows that the President is doing, is going on with the legacy projects of the previous administrations. That is the way to go.
“I sent a letter to him. I commended him verbally too but you are asking me now. Let me also do it publicly. I appreciate it, I thank Mr. President, the Minister of Transportation and others that made it possible.”
On his relationship with President Buhari who defeated him in the 2015 Presidential election, Jonathan described it as cordial.
“I think you’ve been seeing me coming to see the President and you’ve been seeing us having very friendly conversation, our relationship is ok,” Jonathan said.
Meanwhile, President Buhari is set to consult with key leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries in order to find a solution to the crisis rocking the Republic of Mali.
This came after his receipt of reports from ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali led by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former President was at State House, Abuja, in the company of President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
“We will ask the President of Niger, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward,” President Buhari said.
He thanked Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali, “which you had been abreast with since when you were the sitting Nigerian President.”
The former President had filled in President Buhari on his activities as Special Envoy to restore amity to Mali, rocked by protests against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has spent two out of the five years the second term in office.
A resistance group, M5, is insisting that the Constitutional Court must be dissolved, and the President resign before peace can return to the country.
The crisis had erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the polls held recently, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of President Keita.
Riots on July 10 had led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.
“ECOWAS can’t preside over the removal of an elected President. Not even the African Union (AU), or the United Nations (UN) can do it. Leaders must be elected and leave under constitutional processes, otherwise, we would have Banana republics all over the place,” Dr Jonathan submitted.
A statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina explained that the former President thanked President Buhari for providing a Presidential jet for the mission, “thus making our trips convenient and comfortable,” and he equally expressed appreciation for the Itakpe-Warri railway complex named after him last weekend.
“It was a big present for me. Thank you very much,” he said.
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