The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari and the President of Ivory Coast, Alassan Quattara, on Monday commended out-going President Goodluck Jonathan for being statesmanly by conceding defeat in the March 28 presidential election.
The duo also pledged to work together to enhance greater regional integration for the benefit of the people of the West African sub-region.
Quattara, who was the first to speak with reporters after the over 45 minutes closed door meeting, commended Nigeria and the President-elect for holding a successful election which, he said, would serve as a positive lesson for Africa.
In response to a question why he was in Nigeria, the Ivorian leader said, “I have come to Nigeria to congratulate my brother the president-elect on his victory and to let him know that the process of this election is a great pride to all of us and the rest of African countries. The peaceful process is a lesson for all African countries.
While recalling his experience, Quattara said, “You will recalled that in my own country in 2010 when we had the presidential election, the former president did not want to leave office and this led to a civil war during which 3,000 people died.
“So, we are very proud of the Nigerian people. I came to congratulate my brother President Buhari and tell him that my country and Nigeria will work hand in hand for stronger integration of the West African region.
“Nigeria is very important to all of us for its leadership and I think I met President Buhari a few years back, we will continue to work together to make sure that the West African region and the people the region can seek more prosperity and better lives.”
In his remarks, Buhari said, “He (Quattara) is here, all I did was to thank him very much for coming to congratulate us. And I think more specifically to congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan, for his statesmanship because when President Quattara referred to his own experience where he was under siege for more than four months, because his predecessor refused to acknowledge his victory. In Nigeria, the opposite happened, hence we are enjoying the peace, so I specifically congratulate President Jonathan for his statesmanship.”
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Musiliu Obanikoro, accompanied the Ivorien President to the meeting.