“The visit, which is a clear endorsement of the acceptability of the PDP administration, also indicates that the APC, in 2015, only created artificial symbols of misgovernance, corruption, and other alleged misgivings just to discredit our party and grab the levers of power to achieve their selfish desires.
“It is evident that the Jonathan administration succeeded in office basically because our party understands the nuances of our nation, which we translated into people-oriented policies and programmes, in line with the manifesto of our party, to make life comfortable for Nigerians.
“This visit to Jonathan by the APC governors is a direct acceptance of the successes recorded by our party in building a strong nation with a virile economy that was rated as one of the fastest-growing economies of the world,” the statement read in part.
PDP said further that it receives the visit by APC governors as an apology by the APC to “our party and Nigerians over the lies, beguilements and other irresponsible allegations deployed by the APC to grab power, only to lead our nation on a journey to nowhere.”
Governors of the APC on Friday evening held a private meeting with ex-President Jonathan in Abuja.
The governors were led to Jonathan’s residence in Abuja by Yobe State Governor and Acting National Chairman of the APC, Mai Mala Buni.
Others at the meeting include Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, who recently defected to the APC from the PDP; Kebbi State governor and chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum; Atiku Bagudu, and Jigawa State governor, Abubakar Badaru.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday congratulated his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, on the occasion of the latter’s 63rd birthday.
The president’s felicitations were contained in a statement signed by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
He thanked Jonathan for his service to the country and the African continent, including his work in helping to restore calm to the Republic of Mali after a military coup earlier this year.
“On behalf of the Federal Government and Nigerians in general, President Muhammadu Buhari warmly felicitates with former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 63rd birthday, November 20, 2020, congratulating him for a life of service that has brought honour and goodwill to the country,” the statement said.
“The President notes, with appreciation, the peculiar and remarkable climb of the former president on Nigeria’s political ladder, and dedication that has kept him working most recently as ECOWAS envoy to bring peace to the Republic of Mali.
“As the former Nigerian President turns 63, President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will grant Dr Jonathan longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep serving the nation and humanity.”
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in a virtual meeting with former Nigerian leaders.
The meeting started at 9:00 am with President Buhari presiding from the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Former leaders participating virtually from their homes include Generals Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), Goodluck Jonathan, and Ernest Shonekan.
Those physically present at the Council Chambers with the President include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno.
Others include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olanisakin; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai.
The meeting is currently going on behind closed doors but the agenda might be related to the mood of the nation and how to find a solution to the present security challenges.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has broken his silence on the protest against police brutality in the country, warning that no Nigerian’s blood should be spilled.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Jonathan who described the protest as peaceful said the move would advance the cause of Nigeria.
“No Nigerian blood needs to be spilled or life lost during a peaceful protest that seeks to advance our country,” he said.
“We may hold different views on national issues, but there is no doubt that most people desire the same thing for Nigeria: a place where we can all live out the full potential of our God-given abilities. I implore everyone to exercise restraint as we walk through these challenging times.”
Jonathan’s remarks followed the series of protests by thousands of youths have been protesting against police brutality, harassment and killings by policemen across major cities since last week.
No Nigerian blood needs to be spilled or life lost during a peaceful protest that seeks to advance our country. We may hold different views on national issues, but there is no doubt that most people desire the same thing for Nigeria:
As part of measures to reform the Nigeria Police, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, ordered all personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to report to the force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
While the time-frame for the medical evaluation has not been disclosed, the IGP said that the officers are expected to undergo the process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has joined other African leaders and financial experts to congratulate the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina on his re-election.
The ex-President, who joined virtually, during Adesina’s swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, said he is confident the AfDB President will not disappoint Africa and the shareholders in the bank.
To Jonathan, Adesina made a lot of achievements within the first five years of his first tenure as the AfDB boss.
While thanking members of the board and shareholders for re-electing him for another five-year tenure, the ex-President recalled that when Adesina served as Minister of Agriculture during his administration, he (Jonathan) knew what he (Adesina) is made of.
He also expressed the confidence that Adesina will perform better when given the mandate to serve for another term in office.
President Muhammadu Buhari has given his backing to the declaration by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), demanding a 12-month transition process to civilian rule in Mali.
President Buhari who attended the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments virtual meeting on Friday, charged the military junta to set an acceptable timetable for a return to democratic government.
In his remarks quoted in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Buhari maintained that Mali is in a fragile state which poses an imminent danger to the citizens and the ECOWAS sub-region.
He added that the military leadership should be flexible in negotiations by putting the interest of all Malians and the harmony of the sub-region into consideration.
“For the people of Mali, specifically the leadership, embracing Democracy and Good Governance is crucial to the country’s political stability. Mali cannot, therefore, afford to stand alone, hence the need to come to terms with the realities of an acceptable and workable transition compact that inspires the confidence of all Malians.
“With regards to other areas being negotiated, Nigeria believes that the people of Mali and the military leaders need to appreciate the fragility of their country and the imminent danger which it poses to the citizens of Mali as well as the ECOWAS sub-region, “the President said.
He urged the military leadership to focus on securing the country, faced with severe security threats from its northern part, instead of an incursion into governance.
President Buhari celebrated the news that former President of Mali, Ibrahim Keita, has been released from detention and is in good condition. He however called on the military leaders to free the remaining senior officials still in detention.
“I urge the military leadership to consider: the immediate release of all the remaining senior Government officials in detention, without pre-conditions; a transition process, to be completed in not more than 12 months, and which shall include the representatives of Malian stakeholders.
“This is a critical consideration for the new government to enjoy the cooperation and collaboration of regional and international community, and to allow the easing of sanctions imposed on Mali.”
The Nigerian President added that it is critical for the new government to enjoy the necessary cooperation.
“In this connection, Nigeria will, alongside ECOWAS, provide necessary logistics support to facilitate the conduct of elections to re-establish democratic governance in Mali.”
President Buhari thanked Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for mediating in the crisis and commended Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Mahamadou Issoufou of the Niger Republic for convening the Extraordinary Summit.
The government of President Ibrahim Keita was recently toppled in a bloodless coup earning the country sanctions from ECOWAS.
The military junta in place requested a 3-year term in office after which they would return the country to civilian rule.
The ousted Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, says he is no longer interested in returning to his former office.
This was according to Nigeria’s former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who visited the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.
Dr Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, was at the Villa to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the crisis in the West African country.
The meeting comes ahead of an extraordinary virtual summit by ECOWAS Heads of State and Leaders scheduled to take place on Friday.
Briefing the President on his recent visit to Mali, Dr Jonathan disclosed that his team was allowed to meet with the ousted President who confirmed that he resigned from office voluntarily.
The former president also brought President Buhari up to speed on dialogue with the military coup leaders seeking to stay in power for three years, before holding elections in the country.
“They call themselves National Committee for the Salvation of the People,” Dr Jonathan was quoted as saying in a statement by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
He added, “We asked them to allow ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his personal residence where he would be given tight security, but they said he could travel abroad and not return to answer questions they may have for him.
“We also told them that what would be acceptable to ECOWAS was an interim government headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months and a maximum of 12 calendar months.
“The Interim Government would then organise elections to restore full constitutional order.”
According to the former president, the military leaders in Mali want ECOWAS to lift sanctions put in place as it is already affecting the country.
In response, he said, “But we told them that the authority to do such was only in the hands of ECOWAS Heads of State.”
President Buhari, in his remarks, stressed that the priority in Mali now should be securing the country which he said was largely occupied by terrorists.
“About two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursuing individual interests,” he stated.
The President was, however, hopeful that the sub-region would take a common position on the issue when the leaders meet on Friday.
He also believes the ECOWAS leaders will arrive at an amicable and generally acceptable position to all interested parties.
Recently, a series of protests erupted in the streets of Bamako, Mali’s capital despite rainfall and pleas from mediators to stay home, demanding the resignation of ousted President Keita.
The Malian leader was later overthrown by mutinying troops on August 18, amid the lingering unrest in the country.
He was arrested and taken into custody along with the country’s Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse, as well as other senior government officials.
The coup has sent shockwaves around the West African sub-region, sparking fears that one of its most volatile states could collapse.
A day after he was forced out of office, President Keita bowed to pressure and announced that he had stepped down to avoid “bloodshed”.
A delegation of West African leaders headed by former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has arrived in the Malian capital, Bamako on a mission to try to push for a speedy return to civilian rule after a military coup in the troubled nation.
The delegation plans to meet members of the new junta as well as ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Rebel soldiers seized Keita and other leaders after a mutiny on Tuesday, dealing another deep blow to a country already struggling with a brutal Islamist insurgency and widespread public discontent over its government.
Mali’s neighbours have called for Keita to be reinstated, saying the purpose of the delegation’s visit was to help “ensure the immediate return of constitutional order”.
“ECOWAS appreciates what is happening in Mali and ECOWAS wants the best for the country,” Jonathan said after his arrival.
“We’re going to discuss with all stakeholders and I think at the end of the day we’ll come out with something that is good for the country, good for ECOWAS and good for the international community.”
A delegation official said they would meet members of the junta and later Keita, who is being held with prime minister Boubou Cisse in Kati, a military base northwest of Bamako where the coup was unleashed.
Adding to the international pressure, the United States on Friday suspended military aid to Mali, with no further training or support of the Mali armed forces.
But thousands of jubilant Malians took to the streets of Bamako on Friday to celebrate the toppling of Keita, who was reelected in 2018 but became the focus of widespread discontent.
The crowds gathered in Bamako’s central square draped in the national flag and blasting on vuvuzela horns.
The rally, originally organised as an anti-Keita protest by a loose coalition that has led months of mass rallies against him, was recast to “celebrate the victory of the Malian people”.
“I am overjoyed! We won,” said Mariam Cisse, 38.
Speaking at the rally Ismael Wague, spokesman for the junta which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, paid tribute to the public.
“We merely completed the work that you began and we recognise ourselves in your fight,” he said.
The junta has said it welcomes the ECOWAS visit but has not talked of restoring Keita to power.
“A transitional council, with a transitional president who is going to be either military or civilian” would be appointed, Wague told France 24 television Thursday.
Keita won election in a landslide in 2013, presenting himself as a unifying figure in a fractured country, and was re-elected in 2018 for another five-year term.
But he failed to make headway against the jihadist revolt that has left swathes of the country in the hands of armed Islamists and ignited ethnic violence in the country’s volatile centre.
Thousands of UN and French troops, along with soldiers from five Sahel countries, have been deployed to try to stem the bloodshed.
In a sign of the continuing challenge facing the country, four soldiers were killed by an explosive device in the center of the country.
The ECOWAS visit to Mali comes after the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the country said a human rights team had gained access to the ousted president and other detainees on Thursday.
A junta member said the coup leaders had released former economy minister Abdoulaye Daffe and Sabane Mahalmoudou, Keita’s private secretary, calling the move “proof that we respect human rights”.
While Keita and Cisse have no television, radio or phone, other detainees are in a training centre, where they are sleeping on mattresses and have a TV, according to witnesses to the visit.
The 75-year-old ousted president “looked tired but relaxed,” they said, describing his conditions as “acceptable”.
Tuesday’s coup was the second in eight years, and has heightened concern over regional stability as its jihadist insurgency that now threatens neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.
Recently, there have been a series of protests by Malians who took to the streets of the nation’s capital despite rainfall and pleas from mediators to stay home, demanding the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Amid the lingering unrest in the country, Keita was overthrown on Tuesday by mutinying troops, who took him, Mali’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, as well as other senior government officials into custody.
The coup has sent shockwaves around the West African sub-region, sparking fears that one of its most volatile states could collapse.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
During his meeting with the President, Jonathan briefed his successor on the crisis rocking Mali, calling for dialogue to resolve the problem.
Jonathan was accompanied by members of the team on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mission to Mali.
Although the ex-President did not grant an interview to State House reporters, a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, indicated that Jonathan proposed dialogue as the way forward.
“We told them that no international organization, including the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and others, would agree with their position. We continued to emphasize the need for dialogue,” Jonathan was quoted as saying.
The former President added that the Constitutional Court had been reconstituted and inaugurated, while vacancies in the Supreme Court had been filled, thus sorting out the judicial arm of government.
On his part, President Buhari thanked Jonathan for what he called “the stamina you have displayed” on the Mali issue.
He counselled further consultations with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.
Jonathan’s visit to the villa comes barely a month after he met with his successor to brief him on the political development in Mali.
The former President who is part of the envoy from the West Africa bloc ECOWAS made a surprise visit to the Sahel on August 11, on the eve of opposition-led demonstrations against embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Speaking at a press conference in the capital Bamako that evening, Jonathan said “demonstrations do not solve problems per se” and talks would resolve the crisis.
As part of the measures to broker peace in the country, West African leaders met on July 24 amid protests for the resignation of President Keita.
The day-long summit, however, ended without a deal to soothe the country’s escalating political crisis.
Five of the region’s leaders met Keita and leaders of a protest movement clamouring for his resignation, as a long-running jihadist insurgency threatens to throw the country into chaos.
But the intervention failed to seal a deal and Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou — at the talks along with the leaders of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria — said Western African bloc ECOWAS would hold a summit on July 27.
Keita, who came to power in 2013, has come under increasing pressure to end Mali’s long-running jihadist conflict.
The poor nation of some 20 million people has been struggling to contain an insurgency that has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes since 2012, despite the presence of foreign troops.
In the latest violence, a French soldier was killed and two others were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in northern Mali, according to France’s presidency and the French army.
But much of the current tension was sparked in April, when the constitutional court tossed out 31 results from the parliamentary elections, benefiting Keita’s party and sparking protests.
Tensions then ratcheted up into a crisis on July 10 when an anti-Keita rally organised by the June 5 Movement turned violent.
Three days of clashes between protesters and security forces left 11 dead and 158 injured in the worst political unrest Mali had seen in years.
Seeking a way out, ECOWAS mediators suggested forming a new unity government including opposition members and appointing new constitutional court judges who could potentially re-examine disputed election results.
But the June 5 Movement had already rejected any outcome that did not involve Keita’s departure.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor – the operational hub of the Itakpe-Warri line – after former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi announced the news on Saturday via Twitter.
Ogunlesi credited the news to Minister of Transport, Chubuike Ameachi.
The facility will now be known as the Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station and Complex, Ogunlesi said.
BREAKING | President @MBuhari has approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor – the operational hub of #ItakpeWarriRail Line – after former President @GEJonathan. It will be known as the Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station & Complex — Minister of Transport, @ChibuikeAmaechi