It Was Not Easy For Jonathan To Call Buhari After Polls

It Was Not Easy For Jonathan To Call Buhari After Polls

Apart from congratulating Muhammadu Buhari on the victory in the presidential election, the world has been praising President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat.

Jonathan's gesture, which allowed to prevent post-election violence, was highly appreciated both on the national and international level.

But has it been that easy for the country leader to take this decision?

Premium Times has exclusively obtained from its sources how GEJ had arrived to the historic decision to make a congratulatory telephone call to Buhari.

READ ALSO: We Will Not Distract Buhari – PDP Won’t Challenge Presidential Election Result In Court

Based on the report, there was a serious drama on March 31 at the presidential villa as Jonathan was being torn apart by two sides: some persuaded him into conceding the defeat, while the others said that the Peoples Democratic Party should challenge Buhari's victory.

The representatives of the second "camp" warned the president against taking a "hasty decision".

The source was quoted as saying:

"They were telling the president that a lot of options were still open, and that the game was not over. They were doing all manners of analyses, and assuring the president that ultimately, he would triumph.

"At a point the president became confused and it was clear the forces opposed to the president’s decision to concede victory was gaining control. As some of them were talking to the president in the villa, others who were far away were calling the president on telephone. The president was in a dilemma."

One of the presidential aides, who pleaded for anonymity, disclosed that President Jonathan had even invited Osita Chidoka, the Minister of Aviation, for consultations. Chidoka actively supported the decision to concede the defeat.

The minister allegedly said:

"Mr. President, I can tell you that by congratulating Buhari, you would have done the unthinkable and history will surely be kind to you."

Mohammed Adoke, the Minister of Justice, shared a similar point of view:

"He quickly joined Osita (the aviation minister) in appealing to the President to ignore those advising him not to concede defeat. In fact, I saw Adoke and Osita kneeling before the president in deference and begging him to take the right decision in the interest of the country."

With such a development, Jonathan seemed to have been 100% convinced that conceding the defeat would be the right step.

READ ALSO: It’s Not Over For Buhari Yet, Will Poll Outcome Affect Eligibility Suit Against Him?

When more calls against the move started to appear, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance, arrived and also spoke in favour of concession.

Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, the Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Matters, was among those who stressed the importance for GEJ to call Buhari.

He reportedly knelt before the president saying:

"You need to congratulate Buhari now sir. I think you should leave this place on May 29 holding your head high."

Finally, at about 5.15pm Jonathan made a call which would be later tagged as "historic".

Already at 5.27pm Chidoka tweeted:

"President Jonathan congratulates Gen. Buhari in a phone call this evening."

"President Jonathan will address the nation after a meeting with PDP officials.

"President Jonathan is a democrat by instinct, he has expanded the civic space and entrenched genuine democracy. A great future awaits him as sets a continental example on the essence of democracy.

"President Jonathan, by refusing to be an African Big Man, has indeed become an African role model. Soon when emotions subside, the story of Pres. Jonathan’s stubborn commitment to democracy and peace will be told."

First when the reports broke, many could not believe that Jonathan really called Buhari, which the president did even before the INEC announced the final results. However, soon, the information was confirmed by the president-elect. The photos of him talking with his major competitor appeared on Buhari's official page.

Luckily, the fears that the presidential election result might plunge Nigeria into violence did not become reality. Now the country is getting ready for another set of the polls scheduled for April 11. The officials urge people to emulate their March 28 peaceful behaviour at the upcoming polls.

Source: Legit

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