A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, on Wednesday, said he and three other former top government officials were the heroes of the decision of former President Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat in the 2015 presidential election.
He said the four of them ensured that Jonathan took that decision to call President Muhammadu Buhari and concede defeat despite pressure from those he described as hawks within the administration.
Adoke who is currently out of the country made the clarification in a text message he sent to our correspondent.
He said he and former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka; and former Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa, were the heroes of Jonathan’s decision.
The former minister said he would address the issue and others adequately in his soon-to-be released book, “The Burden of Service.”
Adoke said, “My forthcoming book will address the issue most comprehensively.
“As a patriot, I could not have advised the President not to concede defeat.
“Okonjo-Iweala, Chidoka, myself and Dudafa are the real heroes of that historic concession.
“We ensured that despite pressures from the hawks within the administration, the President concede defeat by calling President Buhari as at the time he did.”
Jonathan had in his book, “My Transition Hours,” presented to the public in Abuja on Tuesday mentioned the four government officials in his narrative of the events that led to his decision to concede defeat.
Jonathan wrote, “I was in my living room with some ministers, aides and friends. Among them were the Coordinating Minister for the Economy/Honourable Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka and Waripamowei Dudafa, my Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs.
“They were recommending sundry alternatives, but I was quiet in the midst of their discussion. I hugged my thoughts, 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 here, 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’.
“More reports flowed in and I could not wait anymore. The announcement of the final result could take issues out of all our hands. It was time for me to take action and bring peace to the nation. I felt I was destined by God at that point in time to inject the peace serum and douse the palpable tension in the country.
“I reached for the telephone and placed a call through the State House operators at about 4:45 pm. A peace I had never felt since my political sojourn, descended on me. It showed me where I had been in the past 16 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 other end of my call to answer. Buhari: “Hello Your Excellency!” Me: Your Excellency, how are you?” Buhari: “I am alright, Your Excellency” Me: “Congratulations!” Buhari: “Thank you very much Your Excellency …”
“For several seconds the line was seized by the loudest silence I have ever known. Then we had a brief discussion. I could sense his relief too. He knew what could have been. Here is a man who had contested three times and lost. Maybe my gesture humbled him against his expectations because he thanked me and we talked about the handing over processes.“