- The national peace committee said Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari on his own accord
- The committee noted that the former president was not pressurised by the Abdulsalam Abubakar-led group
- Jonathan also said he chose not to press charges against Buhari
The national peace committee led by former head of state, Abulsalam Abubakar, has said that it did not force former president, Goodluck Jonathan, to concede defeat to Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 presidential election.
Vanguard reports that in a report published by the Kukah centre, the peace committee also said the former president claimed he chose not to press charges against Buhari after his camp threatened to form a parallel government if they did not win.
The committee said it “has always been how to get the defeated candidates to accept the outcome of the election by conceding promptly and unequivocally. So that the winner would naturally have a much easier task to be magnanimous in victory, the committee in the evening of March 31 requested audience with President Jonathan at the Villa.”
Report has that as the committee awaited confirmation for the meeting with the president, the committee chairman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, also put a call through to General Buhari who informed him that President Jonathan had only minutes earlier called to concede the elections.
The committee said: “He particularly asked the committee to please convey his good wishes to President Jonathan for his great act of statesmanship. Shortly after that, members of the committee who were greatly relieved, headed to the Villa where they met privately with President Jonathan and thanked him for his great courage.
“At this point, the Buhari Campaign team were yet to address the press on the historic development and as such, many Nigerians got the news of the concession from General Abubakar’s brief media scrum with State House Correspondents which perhaps helped create the wrong, but widespread impression that the committee sat with President Jonathan at the Villa as the results came in and had directly prevailed on him to concede.”
The report also said in a meeting with the committee which has Abubakar as chairman, religious leaders and media mogul, Sam Amuka, as members, Jonathan said he decided not to press charges against Buhari for national interest.
“A meeting with Jonathan was held at the Aso Rock Villa in the afternoon of Wednesday, March 25, 2015. At the meeting, he (Jonathan) raised some issues concerning the state of the nation, the threat of violence by the opposition (APC then) based on allegations that he (Jonathan) and his party were planning to rig the elections.
“He (Jonathan) noted that he took very seriously the threat by leading members of the opposition to form a parallel government in the event that they didn’t win the elections, but that he chose not to react to such apparent treasonable acts in the interest of peace," the report added.
Meanwhile, the peace committee chaired by former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, reportedly met with the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, over the inconclusive election in Osun state.
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Sahara Reporters said Abubakar went into the meeting with the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto diocese, Matthew Kukah.
According to the report, the meeting is being held ahead of the rerun election in Osun state scheduled for Thursday, September 27.
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