The speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, says Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to concede defeat after the 2015 presidential election brought Nigeria’s democracy to maturity.
Dogara made this comment at the launching of the book “My Transition Hours” written by the former president.
The speaker also noted that the singular action brought honour to Jonathan and placed him among the rank of Africa’s statesmen.
He said, “In moments of difficulties, great uncertainty such as the presidential elections of 2015, it took only leadership for us to be able to renew our confidence in our political process.”
The speaker stressed that the tension that Nigeria was under during the period which was fully doused when the then president Jonathan “decided, not out of compulsion but as has been amply testified to by the former president of Ghana, out of his own volition, to make that gracious call and I tell you, that gracious call conceding defeat was what changed the narrative of politics in Nigeria.”
His words: “Your excellency, we celebrate you. Those who chose not to do what you did today are not being celebrated, as a matter of fact if they were to organise an event like this, nobody will even attend and I guess the high point would be the events in Cote d’ivoire involving Laurent Gbagbo and we all know where he is presently, where he has been confined to and that is lesson to anyone who will not want to follow this legacy of honour and dignity that you have established as a standard.
“We celebrate you today because your executive powers conferred you the authority to take a seat among the demagogues and the narcissists of Africa but you refused.
“You chose instead to take a seat at the table with all those statesmen of Africa and today, you are celebrated. That singular gracious call you put to your opponent was what brought our democracy to maturity and conferred legitimacy to our political process. Nobody ever is going to change that.
“We celebrate you today because by doing that you have brought honour to yourself and you have brought honour to all those that will identify with you.”