President Goodluck Jonathan and former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, have held closed-door talks in Minna Niger State.
Mr. Jonathan was accompanied by the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Muhammed, a former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, and a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ahmadu Ali.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Jonathan said he travelled to Minna to meet Mr. Babangida after the former leader’s return from his medical trip abroad.
The president said they spoke about issues of national concern such as the security challenges facing the country.
“First and foremost, I have to use this opportunity to appreciate our leader, President Babangida for his leadership. His commitment to ensuring that this country is united and we leave in peace,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“Of course, you know that this is the end of the year. Within this period, people pay visits. So I have come to visit him. You know he just came back from a hospital abroad, not too long ago. Since he came back, we have not seen. I need to see my father to know how he is feeling. I am quite pleased the way I have seen him.
“Of course, you all know that as a nation, we are facing challenges: security challenges all over, not just in the North. Yes, Boko Haram in the North. The South is not safe: commercial kidnapping and robbery.
“He is one of our experienced leaders. As somebody who sat where he was before, I need to see them from time to time to listen to their suggestions. That is one of the areas we can collectively move the country forward and ensure that Nigerians live in peace,” he said.
The president said he and Mr. Babangida had a fruitful discussion.
Mr. Babangida, in his response, urged Nigerians to support Mr. Jonathan to ensure that the country remains united.
“What I will say is simple: The President means well for this country and he is working well for this country. Anybody who means well for this country should support the President to make sure that Nigeria survives as a united country,” he said.