A former military Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (retd.), on Thursday led the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Alison-Madueke arrived the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for the meeting about three minutes after Abubakar made his way into the President’s office.
It will be recalled that a photograph of the minister during a visit to the former military leader’s Minna residence went viral on the Internet recently with many people insinuating that she must be reaching out to Abubakar to avoid probe by the incoming administration of Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Less than 30 minutes after both of them entered the President’s office, Abubakar emerged, leaving Alison-Madueke behind.
When State House correspondents asked him for the purpose of his visit, the former military leader said it was in continuation of his job as the chairman of the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections.
“As the chairman of the peace committee, there is always interaction between the incoming president and President Jonathan, in order to ensure that the peace we have been able to get is sustained.
“So naturally, I am here to touch base with him and also to give him a report of what the committee has been doing,” he said.
When confronted with the issue of his recent meeting with the minister and the fact that they entered the President’s office almost the same time, Abubakar said those reading meanings into the visit were just being mischievous.
He said he had met many times with Alison-Madueke and other ministers, wondering why the latest meeting became an issue.
He said, “I think people are just trying to be mischievous, I have been meeting with a lot of people and a lot of ministers in the course of this transition. So there is nothing strange in me meeting with anybody.
“I wonder if you go through your records to see the number of meetings I have been engaging in. I don’t know why the last one will be a subject of media chat.
“This is not the first time I have been meeting her (Alison-Madueke) and a number of ministers, so I don’t see what the whole hullabaloo is all about. People are just being mischievous.”
Abubakar said he had continued to meet Jonathan and the President-elect for the transition to go on smoothly and maintain the peace.
“You are aware that there are some disturbances in some of the states and of course both the incoming and outgoing Presidents have roles to play. The chairman of the various parties have roles to play in order to maintain that peace,” he added.
On the peace achieved during and after the elections, the former Head of State said Nigerians should thank God; Jonathan for his statesmanship; and Buhari for harping on his supporters to tune down their celebration.