A former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has described former President Goodluck Jonathan as a hero of democracy in Nigeria.
The former vice president made the assertion on Wednesday during a courtesy call on President Jonathan at his country home in Otuoke, Bayelsa State.
Mr Abubakar, who recalled Mr Jonathan’s exemplary decision to hand over the reins of power without qualms, observed that that singular historic decision set him apart as a democrat of unimpeachable credentials.
Mr Abubakar, while reflecting on Mr Jonathan’s action that doused tension in the country at that time, noted that the situation in Nigeria may have been different if he (Jonathan) did not voluntarily relinquish power.
“I want to say without equivocation that history will be very kind to you. As the democrat that I have always been, I want to say you have truly excelled! If you did not excel as a democrat par excellence, I wonder what the situation in Nigeria would be today,” Mr Abubakar said.
He had during his visit to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to follow in the footsteps of Jonathan by accepting defeat if they lose the election.
Responding, Mr Jonathan commended Mr Abubakar for appointing former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, as Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation.
He noted that Mr Daniel’s choice as director general was spot on considering that as DG of his own (Jonathan’s) campaign in the South-west, Mr Daniel’s hard work paid off and was capped with huge electoral success in the zone.
He said that his relationship with Mr Abubakar dates back to more than 16 years ago when he was Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State during which time the Waziri Adamawa showed him friendship and support.
On his part, Mr Daniel paid tribute to Mr Jonathan as the most educated president Nigeria has ever had, who made it through the ranks as Deputy Governor to becoming Vice President and subsequently President of Nigeria.
Mr Abubakar was in Bayelsa from where he moved to Port Harcourt on Wednesday in continuation of his nationwide consultations for his 2019 presidential bid.