THE General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee, has revealed that former President Goodluck Jonathan almost arrested and jailed President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for treason before the 2015 elections.
According to the committee, the former left the duo and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) off the hook in consideration of national interest.
The committee, which disclosed this at the presentation of its report on the 2015 general elections in Abuja on Tuesday, also stated that Jonathan conceded defeat and called to congratulate President Buhari without its knowledge.
This, the committee said was contrary to wide media reports that the peace committee exerted influence on the former President to concede defeat.
According to a report, tagged: “2015 General Elections: The Untold Story”, published by The Kukah Centre, the National Peace Committee said it didn’t convince Jonathan to concede defeat to Buhari contrary to popular media reports.
According to the committee, its primary concern has always been how to get the defeated candidates to accept the outcome of the election by conceding promptly and unequivocally so that the winner would naturally have a much easier task to be magnanimous in victory.
The committee said: “The committee in the evening of March 31 requested audience with President Jonathan at the Villa.
”As it awaited confirmation for the meeting with the president, the Committee Chairman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, GCFR also put a call through to General Buhari who informed him that President Jonathan had only minutes earlier called to concede the elections.
“He particularly asked the Committee to please convey his good wishes to President Jonathan for his great act of statesmanship.
“Shortly after that, members of the committee who were greatly relieved, headed to the Villa where they met privately with President Jonathan and thanked him for his great courage.
“At this point, the Buhari Campaign team were yet to address the press on the historic development and as such, many Nigerians got the news of the concession from General Abubakar’s brief media session with State House Correspondents which perhaps helps create the wrong, but widespread impression that the committee sat with President Jonathan at the Villa as the results came in and had directly prevailed on him to concede.”
The report further disclosed how Jonathan, in a meeting with the committee cited “national interest” as reason he stopped his earlier decision to press home with treasonable charges against the then APC presidential candidate, Buhari and other leaders of the party, over threats to form a parallel government if they didn’t win the election.
According to the 51-page document, Jonathan jettisoned the plan “in the interest of peace and national stability.”
Part of page 13 of the report reads: “A meeting with Jonathan was held at the Aso Rock Villa in the afternoon of Wednesday, March 25, 2015.
“At the meeting, he (Jonathan) raised some issues concerning the state of the nation, the threat of violence by the opposition (APC then) based on allegations that he (Jonathan) and his party were planning to rig the elections.
“He (Jonathan) noted that he took very seriously the threat by leading members of the opposition to form a parallel government in the event that they didn’t win the elections, but that he chose not to react to such apparent treasonable acts in the interest of peace.”