Ex-president Jonathan visits Buhari in Aso Rock, declines comments
Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday visited President Muhammadu Buhari, his first visit to Aso Rock in Buhari’s second term.
He arrived at the State House around 2.58 pm and met the President behind closed doors in his office around 3pm.
Jonathan, however, left the villa after a brief encounter, which lasted about 10 minutes with President Buhari.
Curiously, the presidency did not give an official explanation for the visit, neither did the former President speak with State House Correspondents, who were on hand to engage him in a chat.
It would be recalled that in Buhari’s first term, Jonathan visited the Presidential Villa about twice on private courtesy.
However, sources disclosed that the former President got intelligence reports on the half-hearted approach of some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders towards his second term bid.
The development, it was learned, encouraged him (Jonathan) to immediately call Buhari to congratulate him on his victory, even before collation of final results of the 2015 presidential poll.
Speculations were rife that Jonathan’s visit on Buhari was not unconnected to the October 15, 2019 election, for which he was selected as leader of the African Union (AU) Observer Mission.
Political and Electoral Officer at the AU, Idrissa Kamara, told The Guardian that time was of the essence, adding that the AU Observer Mission to be led by Jonathan was expected to submit its report within 48 hours after the poll.
He disclosed that the union would issue a preliminary statement on Thursday, October 17, 2019, but as to whether there was any opposition from Nigeria to the former President’s selection, Kamara said there was no such thing.
“The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, approved the deployment of 40 short-term observers and four electoral experts from October 9, 2019, until the conclusion of the electoral process,” he said.
This, he explained, followed an invitation from the Government of Mozambique ahead of the presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections scheduled for October 15, 2019, in the Republic.
“The short-term observation (STO) Mission will be led by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, while the 44-member delegation includes ambassadors from the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) of the AU, parliamentarians from the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), election administrators, civil society, media practitioners and electoral experts,” he added.