President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday urged world leaders and international institutions to support the administration of the president-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
The president made the call when he had separate audiences with the new ambassadors of France, Senegal and Ethiopia.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, Jonathan appealed for patience, understanding and cooperation from all stakeholders in Nigeria. According to him, Buhari would need to move the country forward to greater peace, security and progress.
While responding to the commendation of his exemplary concession of victory in the presidential elections by the new ambassadors, Jonathan said that he acted out of his abiding conviction that the unity, well-being and progress of Nigeria must supersede all personal ambitions.
“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,” he stressed.
While speaking with the new French ambassador, Denis Guaer, Jonathan called on France to extend the support and assistance it gave to his administration to Buhari’s government.
“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.
“The United Nations has been supportive as well. Our troops, supported by regional forces, have done very well in fighting the terrorists in recent times. What we need now is support to help our people get back their lives,” Jonathan added.