How I Was Pressured To Reject 2015 Election Result – Jonathan

‘Okonjo-Iweala, Adoke, Chidoka, Dudafa advised me not to accept defeat’

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed how he was pressured not to accept defeat in the 2015 election.

Noting that the election was laden with some irregularities, including the difficulty he faced before he could vote in his native Otuoke, Bayelsa State home, Jonathan said he conceded defeat principally because it was his belief that his ambition should not lead to loss of lives and property as it was the case in previous elections.

He said contrary to some narratives that members of the international community prevailed on him to accept his defeat and congratulate the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the decision came naturally to him as he was aware a day before the announcement of the results that his party was bound to lose.

The revelations are contained in the former President’s book, “My Transition Hours”, which was presented in Abuja yesterday on his 61st birthday.

The book records the last-minute intrigues and political manoeuvres that defined his last moments with top aides and ministers in the Presidential Villa and the relief he felt after he congratulated President Buhari in a telephone conversation.

Jonathan said he rebuffed the advice by the then Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke; Aviation Minister Osita Chidoka, who was a compere at the book launch; and his Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs, Warpamowei Dudafa.

He writes: “They were recommending sundry alternatives, but I was quiet in the midst of their discussions. I hugged my thought, figuring out how to do that which was best for the country. My personal interest was receding rapidly and the interest of Nigeria looming large. I excused myself and left the sitting room. I walked into my study. Even there, my mantra was a strong circle around me, supporting and comforting me. Let the country survive. Let democracy survive. My political ambition is not worth people being ‘soaked in blood.”

On how and why he called to concede victory to Buhari, he wrote: “More results flowed in and I could not wait anymore. The announcement of the final result could take issues out of all our hands. It was time for me to take action and bring peace to the nation. I felt I was destined by God at that point in time to inject the peace serum and douse the palpable tension in the country.

“I reached out for his telephone and placed a call through the State House operators at about 4:45pm. A peace I had never felt since my political sojourn descended on me. It showed me where I had been in the past sixteen years and where I was then. I smiled at the thought of what I was about to do. I waited calmly for the person at the end of my call to answer.

Buhari: “Hello Your Excellency.”

Me: “Your Excellency, how are you”

Buhari: “I am alright, Your Excellency.”

Me: “Congratulations.”

Buhari: “Thank you very much Your Excellency.”

With that, the deed was done. Peace like the flow of a soothing river enveloped his heart, Jonathan said.

He continues: “For several seconds, the line was seized by the loudest silence I have ever known. Then we had a brief discussion. I could sense his relief too. He knew what could have been. Here is a man who had contested three times and lost. Maybe my gesture humbled him against his expectations because he thanked me and we talked about the handing over processes.

Elsewhere all over Africa, Asia and other parts of the world, countless deaths have been recorded on the scores of elections and power disputes. l mentioned Cote d’Ivoire earlier, where people died in their thousands during post-election violence. A similar scenario had unfolded in Kenya. African nations are more prone to post-election violence than other parts of the world. Only very few African nations have not experienced post elections violence on a very grand scale or some bitter power tussle fed by tnbal or ethnic sentiments.

I hung up the phone, confident that my decision was right for Nigeria and would probably have a great impact on Africa. This may well be the beginning of a new perspective to power; a perspective which places national interest above personal preference. It should not always be about winning.

“After my coversation with Muhammadu Buhari, which lifted my spirit greatly, I felt better and lighter; it was time to break the news to my Ministers “Id mdes. I wandered back into the living room. These are people I came to know over a period of time. I anticipated what their response would be.

“In my new found calm, I stood before them and told them what I had just done. The elections were over. I had called and congratulated Muhammadu Buhari on his victory. It was time for all of us to move on. Stunned silence greeted the room for some time and after they overcame their shock, they all congratulated me.

“My Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, sought my permission to tweet my phone conversation with Buhari. I obliged and he did. The country was no longer waiting for the declaration of the election results. The nationwide tension automatically dissipated as through a red hot piece of iron had been dipped in a bowl of water. Thereafter, I addressed the nation.”

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11 thoughts on “How I Was Pressured To Reject 2015 Election Result – Jonathan

  • November 22, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Inaccurate headline

    • November 22, 2018 at 11:27 am

      GEJ himself has refuted this. He never said it. Fake news people

  • November 22, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I fear you news people o. How did you people get “Okonjo-Iweala told me not to concede…” out of that excerpt that Jonathan wrote? Hian?! What has this woman done to you guys? Is it a crime to want to help you people out of economic purgatory? Her star is shining internationally now but the only thing in your mind is how to bring her down? Na wa o. Naija people I hail. Bad belle kill you all there.

  • November 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    This headline is very misleading. Why do you guys feel the need to falsify quotes and give meaning that is not there?

  • November 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Jonathan never said NOI and the others mentioned advised him not to concede. He only said they were with him at the state house. Read NOI’s account of this in her book, Fighting Corruption is dangerous. You will get the truth. She and some others advised him to do the right thing!

  • November 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    You are very right. I had to go back and read the exact excerpt from the book. Jonathan was at best being economical with the truth. The man wants to take all the credit of that concession move because it has become a goldmine that made him a saint. Even Adoke has come out to say NOI, Chidoka, Dafuda and himself told Jonathan to concede. He told Punch newspaper in a phone interview. Read it here:

    • November 22, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Yeah bro, I saw on Twitter that Jonathan himself have refuted this falsified headline. He tweeted it from his official handle (@GEJonathan) last night and I think TheCable carried it but all these propagandist blogs that call themselves online newspapers won’t carry that one only to be doctoring words to make NOI look bad that they are good at

  • November 22, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I fear you news people o. How did you people get “Okonjo-Iweala told me not to concede…” out of that excerpt that Jonathan wrote? Hian?! What has this woman done to you guys? Is it a crime to want to help you people out of economic purgatory? Her star is shining internationally now but the only thing in your mind is how to bring her down? Na wa o. Naija people I hail. Bad belle kill you all there.

  • November 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Even if GEJ didn’t come out to refute this. Even if NOI didn’t mention it in her book, only an unintelligent person will believe that NOI will be advising someone to cling to power illegally. Tell me what has she to gain by telling him that? Is it someone that has her international portfolio waiting for her at any time will now be playing sit-tight politics with you people? You can’t even package fake news well. Shior.

  • November 22, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Thank God, NOI too wrote her book and detailed this particular event and what exactly happened. Even before she wrote her book, others have already come out to testify that she was one of the people who advised GEJ to concede. GEJ just wants all the glory that’s all. But he has now come out to clarify sha that this headline is a lie.

  • November 22, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    The annoying thing is that you didn’t carry the remaining part of the event o like other publications did. The parts where he talked about the recession and how he had hotshots in his cabinet who have all gone on to higher global platforms. No, that one doesn’t feed into their bias. It’s the part where they can deliberately misconstrue Jonathan’s words to make NOI and the others look bad that they carried.

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