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What Happened the Day I Conceded Victory to Buhari – Goodluck Jonathan

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Ex- President Goodluck Jonathan told his story, last week, during a dinner in his honour by Cercle Diplomatique, Geneva, Switzerland about his experience in the last election. The former President also spoke about his foray into politics, the allure of power and future plans.

He said:

“I believe that not many of you here know that the story of my foray into politics has a peculiar ring to it. I entered politics in 1998 and, barely one year after, I got elected as the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, my state. I later became Governor, Vice President and eventually got elected as the President of my country. I remain the only leader in my country to have travelled that route.

“As the President, I served out my first term but, as Mr. Blum had pointed out earlier, I lost the bid to be re-elected. I am encouraged by the fact that many of you here appreciated my decision not to reject or contest my loss at the polls, not even in the courts as many people had expected.

The allure of power

“Again, I have to agree with Blum that it was not an easy decision to take. This is because the allure of power and the worries about what would become of you after leaving office constitute an irresistible force. It has an attraction so controlling and powerful that it takes a man who has the fear of God and who loves his people and nation to relinquish power so easily in Africa.

Alone in the valley

“I was actually in that valley on March 28, 2015. I never knew that the human brain had the capacity for such enhanced rapid thinking. One hundred and one things were coursing through my mind every second. My country was at the verge of collapse. The tension in the land was abysmally high and palpable, in the months and days leading to the election. The country became more polarized more than ever before, such that the gap between the North and the South and between Christians and Muslims became quite pronounced. In fact, it became so disturbing that some interest groups in the United States began to predict that Nigeria would disintegrate in 2015. And, indeed, many Nigerians did buy into this doomsday prophesy as they began to brace themselves for the worst. As the President, I reminded myself that the Government I led had invested so much effort into building our country. I worked hard with my top officials to encourage Nigerians and non-Nigerians to invest in our country to be able to provide jobs and improve the lives of our people. We worked hard to grow our economy and to improve and bring Nigeria up as the biggest economy in Africa, with a GDP of about half a trillion dollars.

Posers I had to contend with

“Should I then, for the love of power, watch Nigeria slide into a theatre of war, with my fellow country men and women dying, and many more pouring into other nations in Africa and beyond, as refugees?

“Should I hang on to power and tussle with my challengers, while the investments of hard working citizens of the world go down the drain? I then said to myself, NO!

Resisting the lure of power

“I promised my God that I will not let that fate befall Nigeria under my watch, hence the historic telephone call I put through to congratulate my challenger even when the results were still being tallied. I believe that for a country to be great, both the leaders and the led must be prepared to make sacrifices. This is why, everywhere I go, I always advise that the new generation of African leaders must think differently. We can no longer afford to wilfully sacrifice the blood of our citizens on the altar of dangerous partisan politics. It is not worth it. This reminds me of one of my campaign statements to the effect that my ambition was not worth the shedding of the blood of any Nigerian. Some people took it then as mere political slogan but I knew that I meant it when I said it.

“We must all fight for the enthronement of political stability in Africa, for in it lies the panacea for sustainable growth and development. For Africa to record the kind of advancement that will be competitive and beneficial to our citizens, we must have stable states supported by strong institutions. That appears to be the irreducible minimum that is common to all developed societies. Africa’s political odyssey can distinctly be categorised into three eras, and probably another that would later signpost its classification as a developed continent”.

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19 Comments

  1. u are a true hero, selfless and dedicated. Tested trusted and highly reliable. A man of his word. Nigerian will clamour for ur return after four years. we are already regretting not giving u the second tenure u deserve to consolidate the good work u started. God bless PGEJ!!

  2. This statements and speech shows you loved your people be it muslim or christain. U av shown ,u r a worthy president. And u r welcome by nigerians.

  3. Gej come back again i know you have a forgiving spirit and you will forgive the ignorant of many Nigerians,
    changing you was an aberration cost by misinformation and hypnotism from those cut throat politicians, blood sucking demons and economic vampires not the hallmark of our political idealogy.
    Now many eyes are open.
    See you in 2019,
    God bless Nigeria.

  4. Ahmed jumare on

    GEJ sir, you have try in your own way. However most of the problems& challenges u enumerated are created by ur government. Nigeria became more polarised in ur time than ever b4 to the extent ur virus affect present leadership. You go to ur place of worship and make policy statement, just like PMB is currently doing. Both of you make Isreal & Saudi Arabia an issue in our governance. You were weak that made ur close aids and associates exploited you do last. I am sure some the revelation the present govt is doing sound strange to you

  5. Yes, I Can Now See It Very Plainly That The Truth Will See Be Truth, And One Day It Will Reveal Itself, I Was Saying It That We Should Not Loose This Man Inorder For Us Not To Praise Him Over His Surccesour, But Now I Can See That God Had A Greater Plan For His Servant, And His Nation Nigeria. I Can See Gje Coming Back To Instulate God’s Plan For This Country.

  6. That is one dream that can never be realistic in Nigeria,he tried but a President with his education back ground having dr.Okonjo Iweala as his minister for finance and we lost so much to corrupt Nigerians,having such a heavy reserve squandered and billions of dollars diverted to personer use,we are over 180million,u can not be the best brain or worst citizen,keep praying and enjoy ur retirement,never be pushed to stage a come back,support any credible personality to push this monsters out of the villa come 2019,God bless our country.

  7. I dont want to hear Ameachi talk again unless he can explain the happenings in the state assembly during his time. I really was disappointed during that time. This won’t go away unless these politicians allow God to rule them but they find it hard. GEJ is loved by me. He was slow, weak and let the other parties/people push him but I still love him. If you are trully innocent of all bad things said about you. There will be a great implosion beyond repair in the camp of your adversaries. God will vindicate you. My prayer is that God will have mercy on us. Now, if you have done something wrong, go and ask God for forgiveness. I dont know why, I just like you and dont want you to loose God. Dont be too big to beg God for forgiveness o.

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