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Goodluck Jonathan Visits Buhari Days After Railway Was Named After Him

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja.
The visit comes three days after Buhari named the railway complex in Agbor, Delta state, after his predecessor.

Speaking with journalists at the villa, Jonathan commended Buhari for naming the railway complex after him.

He described the move as a “good gesture”.

The line, which was started in 1987, was built to move iron ore from the mines around Itakpe to the steelworks at Ajaokuta, Kogi state, but was abandoned for many years before construction resumed during Buhari’s first term in office.

Jonathan described he completion of the project as “the way to go”.

According to him, “it shows that the president is going on with the legacy projects of previous administrations”.

“Let me use this opportunity to commend Mr President publicly. I have already sent a letter to him appreciating that it is a good gesture,” Jonathan said.

“Completing the railway programme is good. It shows that the president is going on with the legacy projects of previous administrations and that is the way to go. I appreciate it and I thank Mr President.”
Asked how he would describe his relationship with the president, Jonathan said: “ You’ve been seeing me coming to see the president and you’ve been seeing us having very friendly conversations. So, our relationship is OK.”

In a statement issued after the meeting, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, said the president pledged he would consult with leaders of ECOWAS countries to find a solution to the crisis in the Republic of Mali after receiving reports from Jonathan, who is ECOWAS special envoy to that country.

“We will ask the President of Niger, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward,” Buhari said.

Mali has been rocked by an uprising against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has spent two out of the five years second term in office.

A resistance group, M5, is insisting that the constitutional court must be dissolved, and the president resign, before peace can return to the country.

The crisis had erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the polls held recently, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of Keita.

Riots on July 10 led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.

“ECOWAS can’t preside over the removal of an elected President. Not even the African Union (AU), or the United Nations (UN) can do it. Leaders must be elected and leave under constitutional processes, otherwise we would have Banana republics all over the place,”  Jonathan was quoted to have said in the statement.

The former president was also said to have thanked Buhari for providing a presidential jet for the mission, making the trips convenient and comfortable.


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