Despite the militancy in the Niger Delta region and calls by groups for division of the country, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday said that there is no alternative to one united Nigeria.
He spoke with State House correspondents after about 20 minutes closed doors meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Jonathan said it won’t be in the best interest of Nigeria if it is fragmented into small components.
Stressing that there can’t be meaningful development without peace, the ex-President said he has been working with other elders and stakeholders to ensure that peace reign in the Niger Delta area.
The Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups have been bombing and destroying oil pipelines in the region.
Jonathan said: “It’s not just about me but about all the traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders that are of the Ijaw ethnic nationality. We have been in touch to see that peace reigns in the country.
“Those of you that have followed my talks when I was here, my emphasis is that we need a united Nigeria and I always emphasize that Nigeria is great not just about the oil, so many countries produces more oil than Nigeria and nobody notices them.
“We are great because of our size, the human resources we have, the diversity we have, if we fragmentize the country into small components, we will be forgotten by the world.
“That has been my focal position and without peace there cannot be development anywhere in the world. We are all working collectively to see that issues are resolved.”
Jonathan, however, declined to speak extensively on the anti-corruption war being waged by the current administration that had revealed many wrongdoings during his tenure.
“I don’t want to talk about that one because there are too many cases that are in court, it will not be fair to make comments. I will talk at the appropriate time when most of these things are resolved,” the ex- President stated