Jonathan Says We Are Stronger Together as a Nation


By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said everyone should work for a united Nigeria, saying we’re stronger as one nation.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents after a 23-minute meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Jonathan said he went to brief the president on his mission to monitor election in Zambia.

He solicited for peace in the Niger Delta, saying that there could be no development without peace.

He said: “‎It’s not just about me but about all the traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders that are of the 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, my emphasis is that we need a united Nigeria and I always emphasise that Nigeria is great not just because the oil. So many countries produce more oil than Nigeria; nobody notices them. We are great because of  our size, the human resources we have, the diversity we have. If we fragment the country into small components, we will be forgotten by the world .

“That has been my focal position and without peace there cannot be development anywhere in the world. We are all working collectively to see that issues are  resolved.”

Asked why he came to the State House, Jonathan said: “You asked why I came to see the president today. One key thing is that having been a head of a government, a former president, you become a state property,  that’s the privilege you have but every privilege has its corresponding responsibility, and once you become a state property,  your international engagement, that has to do with public addresses and some international assignment become a national assignment. You brief the president.

 “Even when I was here, the former presidents used to do that and see me. I have been coming, most times I come in the night; that’s why you don’t see me. 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 these external engagements . It is the tradition.”

When asked about corruption cases against some of the people who worked with him, he said:‎ “I don’t want to talk about that one 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.”