He said the predictions that the country would cease to exist in 2015 could have come true if he had not taken the decision to concede defeat in the March 28 Presidential election.
Looking back, he said he was happy he took that decision because Nigerians still have a country to call their own.
Jonathan spoke while receiving members of the Universal Peace Foundation who were in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to confer on him an award of Peace-Loving Global Citizen.
He said it was his commitment to the unity of the country that made his administration to put together the National Conference in order to address the issues that tend to divide Nigerians.
The President said, “Everybody knew about the predictions (that Nigeria will cease to exist by 2015). Anything could have made those predictions become true. After all, we fought a civil war for about three years before as a nation.
“We have our challenges, the idea of that National Conference is to look at these weak cleavages we have in this country.
“We just finished that conference and were thinking of how to implement its recommendations so that Nigeria will become a stronger and more united nation.
“I cannot be a party to the disintegration of the country. I am quite pleased with what has happened. We have a country, the country will be more united.
“We only pray that the incoming government should appreciate the contributions of everybody and see how we can run Nigeria as a country that belongs to everybody: all citizens, irrespective of political affiliations or creeds.”
Jonathan said Vice President Namadi Sambo who ran on the same ticket with him and the Peoples Democratic Party that provided the platform for them should also share in the encomium being showered on him.
While saying if he had won the election, Sambo too would have remained in office, the President said by that singular act, the two of them would be packing out of their offices on Friday.
He said he took the decision to concede defeat because he had always been telling those around him that there must be a nation before individuals can talk of ambitions.
He added that it has also been his position that even if he would be the President for 25 years, he would not be happy if Nigerians are killed because of him.
He said it was one thing to hold office, and it was another thing to be happy and be satisfied with one’s conscience.
“Yes, there are different human beings. If you look at the behaviours of people, even among siblings, some of them could turn to be imams and pastors, while some will be armed robbers.
“Even somebody that has that kind of criminal intention or he is very vindictive or who by nature does not care if people are dying, even if half of his countrymen and women die for him to be a President, he will celebrate it.
“But for me, God did not create me that way and I cannot fit in. I believe that for us to hold any office that we want to, we must have a nation,” he added.
Jonathan added that the years he had spent in office had given him an experience that no school could give.
He reinstated his position that once he leaves office, he would dedicate the remaining part of his life to issues that will bring unity and peace to the country.
He urged Nigerians to commit themselves to the strengthening of those things that can unite the country rather than things that can further divide it.
Sourced from: Punchng.com