President Goodluck Jonathan has called on the global community and Nigerians to support the incoming government of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
“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,” he said.
President Jonathan further urged African leaders to encourage trade within the continent by building infrastructures and institutions that would promote trade and relationships.
The Nigerian President recalled working extensively for more than five years with other African Presidents to forestall crisis in some African countries, especially in West African.
Saved From Political Conflict
He also led peace efforts in some of the countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Guinea Bissau.
“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,” he said, referring to his decision to concede defeat before all election results were announced.
He had called the President-elect to congratulate him before final results were announced.
President Jonathan said he would always be committed to strengthening democracy in Nigeria and Africa and stressed that his decision to concede was to show example to the world that democracy could survive and thrive in Africa without conflicts.
“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 presidents. 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,” the President added.
In his remarks, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria, His Excellency Oubi Bochir, commended President Jonathan’s high sense of patriotism, statesmanship and transparency in the last general elections, saying that he won the heart and minds of all Nigerians and Africans after the elections.
“Let us make it clear, that within the Nigerian and African context and the example your Excellency has set, there was no loser in the elections but winners. The President-elect by winning the majority of votes, and the incumbent in establishing a long lasting legacy by winning the hearts and minds of all Nigerians and Africans,” he said.
Mr Bochir, who is the Ambassador of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) to Nigeria, extolled President Jonathan for making a single phone call that saved the country from political conflict, restored confidence in African democracy and left a benchmark for other countries to follow.
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps was accompanied on the visit by eight other ambassadors from Cameroon, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Namibia and Ethiopia.