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What Jonathan, Buhari told me —Mbeki

By News Express on 13/03/2015

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Winner of Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Award, former South African president, Thabo Mbeki, has given an insight into his separate private meetings with President Goodluck Jonathan and his main challenger in the March 28 presidential election, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking exclusively with the Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday night, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, moments before his departure to Johannesburg, South-Africa, Mbeki disclosed that the forthcoming elections were discussed with the two leading candidates, with emphasis on the need for the process to be devoid of crisis.

He noted that he was particularly gratified that both candidates gave firm commitment to accepting the results of the elections, particularly the presidential poll.

When asked if a direct commitment was given on the outcome of the election, he said “absolutely.”

He also met with the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu same Tuesday evening, before he left for the airport.

Mbeki also mentioned the anxiety created by Nigerian media reporting of the pre-election process, which he said necessitated his decision to meet the leaders involved in the electoral process.

According to him, “when I followed the Nigerian press from outside the country; reading on the internet, one gets worrying feeling that things could go wrong and that is why it was important for me to talk to the actual leaders and not just read what is in the media. At least now, I am really, really reassured.”

The former South African president, who is now a celebrated political mediator in the African continent, also stated that during his parley with the political leaders, the need for peace, before, during and after the elections was emphasised, adding that all parties were made to realise that in every election, there must be a winner and a loser.

He added that both Jonathan and Buhari agreed that the loser of the election must accept the outcome.

Mbeki equally said he never met with Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his lifetime, but that his emancipation exploits were well-known to them in South Africa, saying the sage was not just a Nigerian leader, but a leader of Africa.

Adapted from Nigerian Tribune. Photo shows Mbeki.

Source News Express

Posted 13/03/2015 03:35:06 AM


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