For the first time after the bitter 2015 general elections, President Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan and former INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, met at the Leadership Annual Awards.
The trio were jointly conferred with the Leadership Person of the Year award by Leadership newspaper.
In his response to the award, President Buhari hailed former President Goodluck Jonathan as a “Patriotic Nigerian.
“The patriotic zeal of President Jonathan and the impartiality of the electoral umpire, disappointed the prophets of doom.
“Those prophets predicted the disintegration of the country after the 2015 general election.
“We, the political class should build on the experience of the 2015 elections to nurture our democracy,” President Buhari said.
On the sidelines of this public praise, another gathering was in the offing.
Protesting Ijaw youths accused President Buhari of secretly ordering the closure of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s bank accounts.
The irate youths, under the aegis of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), blocked the Sanni Abacha expressway in Bayelsa State.
Their allegation collaborates with other reports that EFCC’s actions has made it difficult for the ex-president to meet some of his pressing obligations and is now dependent on friends for help.
The youths also alleged that GEJ’s allowances had been withdrawn and his security personnel starved of payments.
“This country has produced many presidents, but the only one from the Niger Delta is constantly harassed by EFCC through Buhari.
“We want to call on the president to respect former President Jonathan, at least for the fact that he handed over peacefully to him,” IYC said.
Reacting to the allegations, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, faulted IYC’s claim.
Shehu said: “Claims by the demonstrators that allowances have been stopped and accounts were frozen are patently untrue.
“Checks with the SGF show that all former presidents were paid their allowances up to the second quarter of this year.
“Dr. Jonathan and others have not been paid their allowances due in third quarter.
“The story of account closure is a fairy tale. It is not known to the investigation agencies,” Shehu said.