Why I respect Jonathan – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said he never expected that former President Goodluck Jonathan would concede defeat so easily after the March 2015 presidential election.
He said it was unbelievable that having spent 16 years in public offices ranging from deputy governor and state governor to being Vice-President and President, Jonathan could throw in the towel like that.
Buhari spoke while hosting State House correspondents to a lunch at the Presidential Villa, Abuja as part of activities marking his one year in office.
He said, 'This is where I pay my respect to former President Goodluck Jonathan. This is actually privileged information for you.
'He called me at a quarter past five in the evening. He said, 'Good evening Your Excellency Sir' and I said, 'Good evening.' He said, 'I have called to congratulate you that I have conceded defeat.'
'Of course there was a dead silence on my end because I did not expect it. I was shocked.
'I did not expect it because after 16 years, the man was a deputy governor, governor, Vice-President and was President for six years.
'For him to have conceded defeat even before the result was announced by INEC, I think it was quite generous and gracious of him.
'Gen. Abdulsalami recognised the generosity of Jonathan to concede defeat and said we should go and thank him immediately and that was the first time I came here.'
He recalled that it was the former military leader, Abdulsalami Abubakar, who suggested the setting up of transition committees because that was the way he did it when he wanted to hand over to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.
Buhari regretted that while Jonathan was not opposed to the idea at the beginning, he was later prevailed upon by his ministers not to cooperate.
He said their argument was that the former President would have handed over government to him (Buhari) before his inauguration.
Watching from outside government, Buhari said he underrated the influence of the Peoples Democratic Party's 16 years in power. - Punch.