President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday disclosed why he accepted defeat in the March 28 presidential election that threw up General Muhammadu Buhari as winner.
He said it was in a bid to prevent the already looming “collective tragedy” in the country.
Jonathan made this disclosure in separate meetings with the new ambassadors of France, Senegal and Ethiopia in Abuja. He also stated that, “Democracy has to be nurtured to grow. Strong democratic institutions are the backbone and future of our democracy.
“They must be protected and nurtured. As for me, as a matter of principle, it is always the nation first.
“You need to have a nation before you can have an ambition. It should always be the nation first. You don’t have to scuttle national progress for personal ambition.
“Since I assumed duty, I have been involved in quelling political crisis in some African countries and I know what they passed through and what some are still going through. If you scuttle a system for personal ambition, it becomes a collective tragedy.”
“President Francois Hollande was our guest in Nigeria during the celebration of Nigeria’s centenary. He has been very supportive of the country in the fight against terrorism. I expect that the same warmth and goodwill will be extended to the incoming government. I expect that France will continue to work with the new administration, especially on issues of terrorism,” he said.
The ambassadors commended Jonathan for setting a record of humility, patriotism and courage in safeguarding democracy in Nigeria and Africa.
“Nigeria is not only an economic power in the world today, but also a great democratic example. And it is all by your effort, Mr. President. The last elections and your response was truly a great achievement and you will always be remembered for it,” the French ambassador told Jonathan.