President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday night in the presidential villa in Abuja received his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, in a one-on-one meeting. 

It was learned that the meeting, which took place in the private residence of the President, was held to discuss the Niger Delta crisis, but it is unclear why no aides were allowed in.

A few days ago, SaharaReporters revealed that Mr. Jonathan had abruptly left his hometown, Otuoke, less than 24 hours after returning from Cote D'Ivoire.

A source told SaharaReporters that President Buhari reassured the former president of his highest regards and made it clear to him that there was no plan to arrest him or his wife, Patience, in his corruption clampdown. 

Such a pledge, if actually made, violates Mr. Buhari’s repeated pledges, at home and abroad, to bring all corrupt persons to book and get back what they looted.  While neither Mr. Jonathan nor his wife has been officially accused of any crimes, there are a lot of allegations involving each of them.

SaharaReporters learnt that the Thursday night meeting was brokered by former President Olusegun Obasanjo shortly after news broke that Mr. Jonathan had taken refuge in Abidjan on account of fear that he would be arrested if he returned to Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who was in Lesotho at the time, reportedly intervened on Jonathan's behalf.

The former president also privately met with President Buhari on Thursday in the presidential villa ahead of the meeting between Buhari and Jonathan.  No aide joined the two leaders for the closed-door parley.

Nigerian critics are beginning to express fear that President Buhari’s anti-corruption profile is beginning to lose steam even before the battle has properly taken off.  Throughout the week, his government made and broke promises to publish the names of looters along with funds recovered from, or by them.

 

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