Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has described the naming of the Warri-Itakpe rail station after him as a good gesture by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Jonathan who was at the State House,Abuja, to brief the President as ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, also commended President Buhari for completing the railway project, one of the legacy projects of previous administrations.
Construction of the rail line commenced in 1987 and was meant to move iron ore from the mines around Itakpe to the steelworks at Ajaokuta, Kogi State, but was abandoned for many years before work resumed under Buhari’s administration.
Jonathan described the completion of the project as “the way to go.”
“Let me use this opportunity to commend Mr President publicly. I have already sent a letter to him appreciating that it is a good gesture. Completing the railway programme is good. It shows that the president is going on with the legacy projects of previous administrations and that is the way to go. I appreciate it and I thank Mr President,” he said.
Buhari had on Saturday approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor, the operational hub of Itakpe Warri rail line after the former president and it’s now known as the Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station and Complex.
Asked to describe his relationship with President Buhari, Jonathan said: “You have been seeing me coming to see the President and you have been seeing us having friendly conversation, so our relationship is okay.”
Meanwhile, President Buhari will consult with key leaders of ECOWAS in order to find a solution to the crisis rocking Republic of Mali.
Spokesperson for the President, Femi Adesina, in a statement said Buhari made the pledge, yesterday, while receiving reports from former president Jonathan who is the ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali.
Jonathan was at State House, Abuja, in company of the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
“We will ask the President of Niger, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward,” President Buhari said.
He thanked Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali saying “you had been abreast with since when you were the sitting Nigerian President.”
The former President had filled in President Buhari on his activities as Special Envoy to restore amity to Mali, rocked by protests against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has spent two out of the five years second term in office.
A resistance group, M5, is insisting that the Constitutional Court must be dissolved, and the President resign, before peace can return to the country.
Crisis had erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the polls held recently, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of President Keita.
Riots on July 10 had led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.
“ECOWAS can’t preside over the removal of an elected President. Not even the African Union (AU) or the United Nations (UN) can do it. Leaders must be elected and leave under constitutional processes, otherwise we would have Banana republics all over the place,” Jonathan submitted.