Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday paid separate visits to former military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, at their Hilltop residences in Minna, Niger State, where met with the former leaders behind closed doors.
LEADERSHIP gathered that Jonathan first visited Gen. Babangida at about 11am and spent an hour, before going over to Gen. Abubakar’s house, which is just a stone throw away.
The meeting between the former leaders, it was gathered, dwelt largely on the Niger Delta crisis which has cut the country’s daily oil output by over 700,000 barrels per day.
Nigeria lost its position as Africa’s largest oil producer in March to Angola, following vandalisation of oil pipelines and installations by terrorist groups in the Niger Delta region.
The attacks have resulted in huge economic loss for the country.
Though the former leaders met behind closed door, LEADERSHIP gathered that Abdulsalami raised concerns over the Niger Delta crisis and the need to speedily contain the situation.
It was also gathered that Babangida, unusually, received former President Jonathan in his private living room upstairs, as against the common practice of receiving high profile visitors downstairs.
The visit comes barely one week after Jonathan attended the first Council of State meeting since he left office in May 2015.
Last week’s Council of State meeting was the second under President Muhammadu Buhari and Jonathan, who attended the meeting for the first time as a former president since leaving office in May 2015, having been absent at the earlier meeting, reportedly stole the moment.
Apart from the Niger Delta crisis, it was learnt that the meeting by the former leaders may not be unconnected with the ongoing probe of Jonathan’s wife, Patience, his former ministers and aides over corrupt practices while in office.
The current political and economic situation occasioned by the economic recession also formed part of discussions during the august visit.
Jonathan was accompanied by former minister of state, Finance, Bashir Yuguda, and his former chief of staff, Chief Mike Oghiadome.
Former Niger State governor, Engr. Abdulkadir Kure was also on hand at IBB’s house to receive the visitors.
The details of the discussion between the former Nigerian leaders was not made known but IBB and Jonathan, it was gathered, met for about 40 minutes upstairs while former governor, Kure, Yuguda and Oghiadome waited.
LEADERSHIP gathered that Jonathan spent about two hours in Minna.