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Friday, 27 October 2017

2015 poll: Why I conceded defeat - Jonathan




Former President Good­luck Jonathan has stated that by conceding defeat before the 2015 election re­sult was declared, he wanted to set a new standard for the nation’s democracy and prove a point that election related litigations should no longer define Nigeria’s democracy.

According to him, Nigeria has to grow the credibility of its democracy to a stage where Nigerians no longer have to wait for court judg­ments to conclude her elec­tions.

Jonathan made the point at the 6th edition of African Ambassadors Interactive Forum (AAIF) and Dinner, organized by African Third Sector Resource (ATSR) in Abuja, where he was present­ed with the ‘African Leader­ship & Achievement Award’. The theme of the conference was “Deepening Democracy and ensuring human secu­rity”.

He said: “I always say that I reformed the democratic process as President in order to consolidate democracy in Nigeria and the sub-region. I conceded defeat without a fight because I wanted to set a standard for our democracy, going forward. My aim then was to change the narrative and prove that election relat­ed litigations should no lon­ger define Nigeria’s democ­racy. People must not always go to court and obtain judg­ments before elections in Ni­geria are declared complete.

2015 poll: Why I conceded defeat - Jonathan

“We don’t get to hear about such court cases in mature democracies. I wanted us to get to that point in our demo­cratic experience. I thought that it won’t be out of place if we got to that stage where those who lost elections will be able to congratulate those who won.

Opening up further on the real reason for the decision he took, the ex-President said that his commitment to the protection of lives and invest­ments of Nigeria people, their assets and the economy made him concede defeat and avert looming crises.

The former President, who was represented at the occa­sion by the former Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Abubakar Suleiman, recalled that already some agencies in the United States had pre­dicted

disintegration following the growing tensions on the land at the time, stressing that Nigeria and indeed African continent could have been doomed if the Nigeria was al­lowed to slide into anarchy.

He said: Above all, what that decision did for me and the nation was to avert a looming crisis. Given the ten­sion in the land at that time, I was deeply contemplative of what would have happened if we had let our nation, the biggest black nation on earth, slide into anarchy, because of contestations for power. What then would have hap­pened to our citizens, Nige­ria’s economy and the invest­ments driving its growth? I was convinced that the im­plication for peace and the economy of the sub-region and the rest of the continent, couldn’t have spelled any­thing else but doom.

“Recall that after the 2011 Presidential election which most observers adjudged transparent, with my vic­tory generally seen to have been well deserved, crisis and conflicts still surfaced that claimed the lives of many of our compatriots, and prop­erties worth billions of naira destroyed. I am always sad­dened each time I remem­ber that among those who died needlessly then were 10 youths undergoing the com­pulsory

one-year national service, who unfortunately got killed in a State

where I secured only 16 percent of votes. Before the 2015 elections,

there was palpable tension in the land, to the extent that some international agen­cies, especially in the United States, were predicting the disintegration of the country in the election year.

Jonathan said further: “As the President, I always had at the back of my mind that it was my responsibility to pro­tect the assets of Nigerians and non-Nigerians operating in our economy. These were committed investors who had trusted our Government with their investments, to be able to provide jobs and improve the lives of our people.

“The steps I took while in office and during and af­ter the 2015 elections were meant to secure our country, consolidate our democracy and protect those invest­ments. I thank God that I was able to do what I did despite the irresistible force of power, and the usual worries about the uncertain fate that might befall a leader upon leaving office, especially in Africa.”

Earlier, the Executive Di­rector of ATSR, Barr Chijioke James said the organization has facilitated the forum to celebrate the fact Nigeria was able the get the narrative right in her 2015 elections.

“It is a very positive nar­rative because of recent the narrative has been negative. Nigeria has got it right. We conducted an election that was acceptable. An election that did not allow blood to spill. And that call for recog­nition” he added.



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