Former President Goodluck Jonathan was on Sunday conspicuously absent when former Nigerian leaders who are Christians gathered at the Presidential Villa, Abuja for the end of the year thanksgiving.
Former Nigerian leaders at the Aso Rock thanksgiving service
Former Nigerian leaders, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo; Chief Ernest Shonekan; Chief of General Staff, Gen. Oladipo Diya; former Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme; Rear Admiral Ebitu Ukiwe, and others were in Aso Rock on Sunday for a Thanksgiving service.
According to Punch, the past leaders were invited by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo to join him and his wife to praise God for His goodness over the country, but former President, Goodluck Jonathan was conspicuously absent when former Nigerian leaders who are Christians gathered at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja for the end of the year thanksgiving.
Speaking in an interview with State House correspondents at the end of the service, the vice president confirmed that all the former Nigerian leaders, including Jonathan were invited for the service, adding that Jonathan decided to cancel his attendance at the last minute.
The Vice-President who did not give the reason for Jonathan’s decision, added that there was a great future ahead of the country, hence the need for the thanksgiving service.
Osinbajo said, “Today is a special thanksgiving for the end of the year and as you have seen, all the former Presidents and Vice-Presidents are here for the special thanksgiving service,
“They have been specially invited to come, we also expected President Jonathan but unfortunately, he had to cancel at the last moment.
“So, we are all extremely excited that we have been able to bring everyone together to thank God for our nation and to give Him thanks for the great future ahead of us.”
Earlier during the service, Gowon who said he was attending service at the chapel for the first time, confirmed that Osinbajo personally contacted him to attend the service, adding that when he told the Vice-President that he would be engaged outside the country at the time, Osinbajo offered to facilitate his (Gowon’s) movement to the venue.
Obasanjo who had earlier taken the first lesson of the service from Luke 17: 11-19, revealed that the Sunday visit was the first time he would be visiting the Presidential Villa since he publicly criticised the Buhari administration recently, saying the President was elected to clear the mess he inherited and not to shift blame.
The former leaders however did not meet with Buhari during their visit.
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