Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has revealed how some of his cabinet members advised him against accepting the results of the 2015 presidential election where he suffered defeat.
He also alleged that the election that brought in President Muhammadu Buhari was marred with irregularities citing the difficulty he faced before he could cast his vote in his Otuoke home.
Jonathan revealed that he conceded defeat before the official announcement of the results because he believed that his personal ambition should not lead to loss of lives and properties as it had always been the convention in previous elections.
The don cum politician said he rejected the advice of 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, and his Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs, Warpamowei Dudafa.
The former number citizen made these revelations in his “My Transition Hours”, a book he wrote to reminisce on his last days as the president of the nation which was launched on Tuesday to mark his 61st birthday.
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’.”
“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.
“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.”