Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Centenary - I Was Impressed With Buhari's Presence - Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan said, yesterday, that he was delighted when he got to know that former Head of State, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) was in attendance at the flag off of the nation's centenary celebration penultimate Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Jonathan said that immediately he stepped into the venue and saw Buhari, he was impressed.

"When I got there and saw him, I was impressed. He came that day and that was why I said the two of us should light the unity torch and I think it was something nice".

The president said he was happy over the turn out of his predecessors because when the Federal Government announced that it would celebrate the country's centenary in grand style, some Nigerians reacted negatively to the decision, with critics querying the rationale in celebrating in the midst of crisis.

Jonathan said that the flag off and Super Eagles' victory at the just-concluded African Cup of Nations showed that God had a purpose for the country.

He noted that the way the flag off was packaged showed that Nigerians needed to celebrate, the president said, and added "Initially, when we came up with the idea of celebrating our centenary, there were so many negative statements in the media. "There were many Nigerians questioning why we have to be celebrating amidst crisis. They claimed that our unity has never brought us development.

" So, the colourful flag off of the centenary with the victory of the Super Eagles, though I am not a soothsayer, but there are certain things that are directed by the will of God and I believe God has a purpose for this country.

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