President Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Friday met behind closed-doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting which lasted about 30minutes started at about 3pm with the arrival of the President-elect and members of his entourage.
A few minutes before his arrival, Jonathan walked a distance of about 100 metres from his office to the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa where the meeting was held.
He was accompanied by his Principal Secretary, Ambassador Hassan Tukur, and a few security aides.
Buhari who was decked in a white ‘agbada’ was accompanied by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, another chieftain of the party, Abdulrahman Dambazau, and a couple of aides.
He was driven to the front of the venue in a black Toyota Landcruiser marked Abuja ABC 329 KJ.
He was received by Tukur who ushered him into one of the small halls inside the building where Jonathan was already waiting.
About 30 minutes later, they emerged from the meeting, holding hands and beaming with smiles.
They waited for a few minutes in front of the national flag placed in the centre of the building’s lobby to allow photojournalists take shots.
As they made their way out of the venue, Jonathan told State House correspondents that the meeting was in continuation of the conversation that the two of them have been engaging in.
When probed further, the President said although he would not disclose the details of the meeting, the parley was in the interest of the country.
He said a date would be chosen when the President-elect would come and he (Jonathan) will show him round the Presidential Villa.
The President’s encounter with journalists was characterised by intermittent loud laughter by Buhari and members of his delegation as well as the journalists.
The following conversation ensued:
President: Thank you gentlemen. We have nothing to tell you today, formally we will take a date where the President (Buhari) will come and I will show him round the State House.
But today is not for that. Today, we are continuing with our conversation, so we don’t need to worry the President (Buhari), you don’t need to also worry the President (referring to himself).
Journalists: How did the conversation go?
President: But you see that we are smiling.
Journalists: So, the meeting was a fruitful one?
Journalists: What did you discuss?
President: I will not tell you, but the meeting was for the interest of the country.
When State House correspondents turned to Buhari for his comment, he simply said, “The President (Jonathan) has said it all.”
His response also elicited another round of laughter from those present.
That was the second time that Jonathan and Buhari would be meeting publicly since the March 28 presidential election which the incumbent lost to the APC candidate.
The first meeting which was described as “private” was held on April 3 without media presence.