‘I’ll dedicate rest of my life to peace, unity’
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday said that he would dedicate the rest of his life to issues of peace and unity across the African continent in particular and the world in general.
The President also reiterated that he took the decision to concede defeat because he would not be party to the disintegration of the country that he had had the privilege to rule.
The President said this at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, when members of Universal Peace Federation paid him a farewell visit and to also to thank him for saving the country of avoidable catastrophe as a fall out of the March 28 presidential elections.
Jonathan said: “I took that decision because no matter your ambition, you must have a country before you can be president? Some people who are vindictive may not bother if half of the population died for them to be president.
“Some may not care but God didn’t create me that way, and I didn’t fit into that. I cannot be a party to the disintegration of Nigeria. I pray that the incoming administration will appreciate the contributions of everybody to achieve greatness for the country.”
The delegation led by a constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), besides bidding Jonathan farewell, also conferred on him with awards as well as an appointment into a global peace council body as he bows out of power on Friday.
The group conferred on the outgoing President with Peace Loving Global Citizen award and appointed him as Nigeria’s Representative at Global Peace Council to replace another of Nigeria’s former head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, who just vacated the position.
Ozekhome, who spoke earlier poured eulogies of Jonathan, stating that he merited the awards in view of his commitment to peace and stability as demonstrated in his quick acceptance of defeat in the March 28 presidential election.
Ozekhome described Jonathan as a hero, saying that he had “snatched victory from defeat” by hurriedly conceding victory to his opponent at the presidential contest.
He said the out-going President had made Nigeria to stand tall in the comity of nations by that singular action. Accordingly, he submitted that Jonathan would return to his Otuoke country home as a hero and a proud man.
“Your action is heroic. In spite of the fact that you control the security apparatus of the country, you accepted defeat. You are an extraordinary person. You should go back to Otuoke a very proud man.
“You came, you saw and you conquered. History will be kind to you because you gave meaning to democracy. God used you to deliver Nigeria from the precipice,” Ozekhome said.