ABUJA – President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Abuja urged world leaders and international institutions to give their fullest support possible to the incoming administration of retired Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Jonathan also called on all Nigerians to do their utmost best to help the incoming president to succeed in leading the country to greater heights of accomplishment.
The president made the appeal at separate audiences with the new ambassadors of France, Senegal and Ethiopia at the State House.
Jonathan appealed for patience, understanding and cooperation from all stakeholders in Nigeria, which he said, Buhari would need to move the country forward to greater peace, security and progress.
He responded to the commendation on his exemplary concession of victory in the presidential election by the new ambassadors.
Jonathan said that he acted out of his abiding conviction that the unity, wellbeing and progress of Nigeria must supersede all personal ambitions.
“Democracy has to be nurtured to grow. Strong democratic institutions are the backbone and future of our democracy.
“They must be protected and nurtured. As for me, as a matter of principle, it is always the nation first.
“You need to have a nation before you can have an ambition. It should always be the nation first. You don’t have to scuttle national progress for personal ambition.
“Since I assumed duty, I have been involved in quelling political crises in some African countries and I know what they passed through and what some are still going through.
“If you scuttle a system for personal ambition, it becomes a collective tragedy,’’ Jonathan declared.
Jonathan, who spoke with the new French ambassador, Mr Denis Guaer, urged France to extend the support and assistance it gave to his administration to Buhari’s government.
“President Francois Hollande was our guest in Nigeria during the celebration of Nigeria’s centenary. He has been very supportive of the country in the fight against terrorism.
“I expect that the same warmth and goodwill will be extended to the incoming government. I expect that France will continue to work with the new administration, especially on issues of terrorism.
“What we need now is support to help our people get back their lives,’’ he said.
The ambassadors commended Jonathan for setting a record of humility, patriotism and courage in safeguarding the democratic process in Nigeria and Africa.
“Nigeria is not only an economic power in the world today, but also a great democratic example. And it is all by your effort, Mr. President.
“The last elections and your response was truly a great achievement and you will always be remembered for it,” Guaer said.
The others ambassador, who were at the Presidential Villa to present their letters of credence to Jonathan were Ambassador of Senegal, Mr Baboucar Sambe and Ambassador of Ethiopia, Samia Zekaria Gutu.
They also assured him that they will do their best to strengthen relations between Nigeria and their countries during their tenure.(NAN)
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