‘Jonathan won’t hand over to military’

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The Presidency on Tuesday denied a report that President Goodluck Jonathan would rather hand over to the military on May 29 than handing over to Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), describing it as absolute nonsense.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in an interview with The PUNCH said the report was a sign of desperation by some people with partisan interest.

Abati said nobody should take the report seriously because it could only have emanated from unpatriotic persons who were determined to heat up the polity for their own narrow and selfish purposes.

The presidential spokesman said contrary to the report, Jonathan remained committed to democracy and the rule of law.

He added that one of the major achievements of the present administration had been the conduct of credible elections since 2011.

While saying that the President remained committed to the protection of the integrity of the democratic order in Nigeria, Abati added that Jonathan would never allow the gains of democracy to be reversed under his watch.

He said, “That (the report) is absolute nonsense. It is nothing but a sign of desperation on the side of certain elements with partisan interest.

“President Jonathan remains fully committed to democracy and the rule of law. He is a man who believes in one man one vote; one woman, one vote; one youth, one vote and the right of every Nigerian of voting age to exercise their franchise.

“One of the major achievements of this administration had been the conduct of free, fair and credible elections at all levels since 2011 and it is a legacy of which he is proud of and he has made it clear that his ambition does not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

“It won’t happen under his watch that the gains of democracy will be reversed. He remains committed to transforming Nigeria so that democracy can be further consolidated and the rule of one man one vote will continue to be strengthened.

“He will continue to make efforts to deepen the electoral process and protect the integrity of the democratic order in Nigeria.

“I am saying categorically that the story is not true and cannot be true. It should not be taken seriously by anybody.”

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