Former military president, Abdulsalam Abubakar, says Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who accepted the loss of the 2015 election as a sitting president, hasn’t been handed enough accolades by the Nigerian public for the act.
Jonathan decorates Buhari with a medal of honour during the transition period (The Nation)
With vote numbers still pouring from across the country, President Jonathan of the governing PDP put a concession phone call across to then candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the opposition APC, when it became increasingly clear that it had become mathematically impossible for him to bridge the gap.
Buhari polled 15,426,921 votes to defeat Jonathan who garnered 11,153,118 votes.
It would be the first time in Nigeria’s history that a sitting president would be losing an election or conceding defeat.
Godsday Orubebe, former Niger Delta minister, told then INEC Chairman Jega: “We will not take it…you are biased” (ChannelsTV)
Jonathan’s concession phone call would go some way to dousing heightened tension across the country, moments after Mr. Godsday Orubebe, a Jonathan supporter and PDP polling agent during the election, had told the chairman of the electoral commission to his face at the collation center that he had taken sides with the APC and its candidate Buhari.
“People keep harping on the role of our Peace Committee in convincing President Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat to Muhammadu Buhari. Nigerians have not given adequate credit to President Jonathan because he took the decision out of his own volition to concede and congratulate Buhari in 2015,” Abubakar said in an interview published in the latest edition of ‘Nigeria Now’ newspaper.
The Peace Committee is an assemblage of ex-presidents, statesmen and clergymen.
President Goodluck Jonathan told the nation that no one should shed blood on his behalf (Al Jazeera)
Abubakar, who heads the committee, said even though his team spoke with all the presidential candidates when the election results began to trickle in, “we did not sit down with Jonathan to dictate to him, he conceded out (of) his own conviction.”
Jonathan had said before the 2015 vote that his ambition wasn’t worth the blood of anyone.
Abubakar’s Peace Committee has played a mediatory role between the presidency and the governed on a host of issues afflicting the Nigerian state.
Abubakar ruled Nigeria from June 8, 1998 to May 29, 1999, and is Nigeria’s 8th and last military Head of State.
After succeeding the late Gen Sani Abacha who had mysteriously died on the throne, Abubakar midwifed Nigeria’s protracted transition to civil rule program which ushered in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president on May 29, 1999.