Quattara hails Jonathan’s election concession
Written by Taiwo Adediran on April 21, 2015
PRESIDENT Allasane Quattara of Côte d’Ivoire met President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, to thank him for the step he took in conceding defeat in the March 28 presidential election and saving the nation from possible strife.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with Jonathan, the Ivorian leader recalled the Civil War his nation had gone through because of the refusal of former President Laurent Gbagbo to concede defeat, saying Jonathan had, therefore, set an example for the rest of West Africa to follow.
He said he was in Abuja to congratulate President Jonathan, president-elect, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians on the successful general election, as well as to appreciate the leadership Jonathan had provided for the sub-region over the period.
Addressing President Jonathan who was present at the press briefing, he said: “And so, I wanted to tell you our appreciation over the leadership we have received from you these years. You know that about five years ago, Côte d’Ivoire had elections, I won the election and the former president decided not to leave office.
“This brought the Civil War. Three thousand people were killed and we were put at the hotel for protection by the United Nations four and a half months. We were there without food because the hotel was guarded by the president.
“It was only after four and a half months of imprisonment in that hotel that finally, we were able to leave the hotel after the former president quit and finally left office for me.
“I’m saying this to say that what happened in Nigeria is a lesson to all of us and please accept my admiration.
“I think avoiding violence and civil war when we have elections in Africa should be our utmost objective. People are more important than power and Mr President, my good friend, I’m not surprised about what you did and I want to congratulate you, congratulate Nigerians, congratulate the president-elect for this election in Nigeria.
“It is a legacy for the African countries and I think we owe you a lot in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“I will like to also say that for two years, I was chairman of ECOWAS after you and we had to deal with very difficult issues like the wars in Mali, terrorists implementation in Northern Nigeria, problem in Guinea Bissau, problems in Togo. You were always present for us, you are a West African before being a Nigerian and we thank you for what you did for West Africa.
“And we also were together to set up the partnership agreement with the European Union and only West Africa has been able to do this. My brother, you have shown support to me during the difficult years I went through, you have shown friendship to me all these years and so I wanted to tell you thank you,” Quattara told Jonathan.