Buhari insisted; All Looted Funds Must Be Returned
A meeting put together at the Villa was at the instance of the 2015 Elections Peace Committee, following complaints by Jonathan that President Buhari was not sticking to the peace accord they signed.
Meanwhile, Jonathan also sought for understanding on alleged corrupt practices and mismanagement of funds under his administration, it was learnt.
Nigeria News gather that Jonathan claimed that he was hearing about some of the graft allegations for the first time.
But Buhari was said to have insisted that all looted funds must be returned to the nation’s coffers.
He also restated his pledge that Jonathan had nothing to fear at all, according to a source who pleaded not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the matter.
The outcome of the session was said to have informed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s declaration at the weekend that the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption battle was not targeted at Jonathan.
According to Nigeria News source, the parley was arranged by Abdulsalami.
Jonathan was uncomfortable that Buhari had moved against his ex-Chief Security Officer (CSO), ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) and some ministers.
The source said Jonathan asked the Abdulsalami Committee to prevail on Buhari not to “rubbish” him.
The source said: “For some weeks, Jonathan has been in the country to iron out some issues on his government.
Based on Jonathan’s complaint, Abdulsalami made efforts – five times- to get in touch with Buhari but the ex-Head of State could not get through on time. I think Buhari already had security reports on Jonathan’s emissary.”
At a point, Abdulsalami expressed his frustration to some former Presidents who also prevailed on Buhari to give the committee a chance to mediate.
The source added: “This was how Abdulsalami succeeded in securing an appointment from Buhari for Jonathan with a caveat that the immediate past President should feel free to bare his mind.”
Giving an insight into the talks, another source said: “Jonathan said he was hearing some of the allegations, especially financial sleaze, against his administration for the first time. He made it clear that he had nothing to do with some of these corrupt practices.
“He said whatever steps or actions the President intends to take; it should be within the framework of the peace accord the two leaders signed. Obviously, he wanted soft landing.
“He also pledged to cooperate with Buhari as much as possible on all steps he is going to take.”
Buhari restated his pledge that Jonathan had nothing to fear. But he said there was no going back on the recovery of looted funds.
“Buhari reassured Jonathan that he has no personal agenda against him. But he insisted that whatever was stolen from the treasury must be returned,” the source said.
There were indications last night that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s visit to Buhari was part of moves to “offer advice” to the President on the issues raised by Jonathan.
When contacted, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “I am aware that President Buhari met with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan but it was behind closed doors. I don’t have the details of what they discussed.”