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Probe: Jonathan never called peace committee to intervene – Kukah; Committee meets Buhari‎


ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, the Rev. Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah has denied reports that former President Goodluck Jonathan approached the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections to intervene on his behalf and make President Muhammadu Buhari adhere to the peace accord both mean signed before the 2015 presidential election.
A national daily had reported that ‎Jonathan had contacted the committee to seek it’s intervention, saying that Buhari was not sticking to the peace accord that was signed at the instance of the Abdulsalami-led committee.
The national daily quoting a source present at the meeting had said that ‎Thursday night’s meeting between Buhari and Jonathan was initiated because the former president sought for understanding on alleged corrupt practices and mismanagement of funds under his administration.‎
But speaking with State House correspondents on Tuesday after the committee led by former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar met with Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Bishop Kukah said ‎that he was hearing about some of the graft allegations  for the first time.‎‎‎
Kukah said “‎Anybody is free to come to our committee but President Jonathan never by telephone or another means talked to the committee. We went to see him, but that is after we had already seen members of the political parties, members of the civil society. We planned to see the Speaker because we couldn’t see him yesterday (Monday). This is a very planned series of intervention essentially just to hear out everybody and I think the good news is that Nigerians are committed to a new nation, they are committed to ensuring that the gains and blessings God has given us come to fruition”.
Asked why the intervention has become necessary, the Catholic bishop said, “‎This is not an intervention; it is not a hearing out process. When we had   election it was like a wedding now the reality of government, now is the marriage and people need to be encouraged. We need to reaffirm that this is our country and the only thing we can collectively be opposed to is injustice, iniquity, corruption and in that regard we all had one single conversation. 
“‎The President has also reaffirmed the need for this committee to continue, and the international committee has very much welcomed the contributions of the committee. Essentially we are not policing, but when the need arises, we will help to build confidence and in the process”.
Kukah said ‎the committe gave a bit of update about the relevance of the peace committee itself and how it could help to nurture what God has given to Nigerians, during its meeting with President Buhari.‎
Commenting on the administration’s stance against corruption, Kukah said, “It is not heating up the polity. in our conversation with President Jonathan and members of the parties, I don’t think any Nigerian is in favour of corruption or is against the President’s commitment to ensuring that we turn a new leaf. I think what we are concerned about is process, it is no longer a military regime and under our existing laws everybody is innocent until proven guilty.
‎”Again our own commitment is not to intimidate or fight anybody, the former President’s commitment and what he did still remains spectacular and I think that  President Buhari himself appreciates that. So our effort really is to make sure that the right thing is done”.‎‎‎‎
Others in the meeting were the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’Ad Abubakar III; the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh; Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan; a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mrs. Priscilla Kuye; and Senator Ben Obi, among others.
Sundiata Post had earlier reported that the meeting on Thursday, July 6 between Buhari and Jonathan was at the instance of President Buhari who sought the former president’s input on ways to stabilise his administration especially in the areas of fight against Boko Haram and the purchase of military hardware from alternative sources given the refusal of the United States and the West to sell arms to Nigeria.

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