Jonathan in closed-door meeting with Buhari

•Says I visit Aso Rock at night

FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday, met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, telling correspondents that he has often visited Buhari at night.

Fielding questions as he emerged from the closed-door meeting, he said he was there to brief the president on his international engagements as a former Nigerian leader.

He 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, most of your international engagements, that has to do with public addresses and some international assignments 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 this external engagements. It is the tradition.”

The former president declined to comment on the ongoing anti-corruption war by the present administration, saying that there were too many cases in court on the matter.

“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,” he said.

On his role in resolving the current Niger Delta crisis, Jonathan said effort towards resolving it should be all encompassing, involving all stakeholders.

The former president stated: “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 was that we need a united Nigeria and I always emphasize that Nigeria is great not just about 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 fragmentize 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.”