The immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan has in an event in Geneva, shed light on the crucial moments he faced on March 28, 2015 ahead of his decision to concede victory to President Muhammadu Buhari after that year’s presidential election.
This disclosure was made known, last week, by the former president during a dinner in his honour by Cercle Diplomatique, Geneva, Switzerland.
He said: “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.
“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!
He continued: “ As you can see, I have not come here with a prepared speech, since what I consider appropriate for this occasion is to just thank you all, members and everyone else in attendance, in a few words, for the dinner and the award, in order not to make the evening look boring. But having said that, I am still tempted to note that if I were to present a written speech, the title, would probably have been “Power Tussle in Africa: A Stumbling Block to Economic Growth.” When Mr. Robert Blum, your President, made his very interesting opening remarks, he introduced me as the former President of Nigeria. He was absolutely correct.
Dr. Jonathan also spoke about his foray into politics, the allure of power and future plans.