President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said his immediate predecessor Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will rise again and that his best days were still ahead.
Buhari’s remark at the launch of “My Transition Hours“, a book written by Jonathan was greeted by thunderous ovation by all present at the venue.
President Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said history will judge Jonathan well, and described him as a patriotic leader of the country.
“I want to openly as I have done on several occasions salute the statesmanship, sportsmanship and courage embodied in the person of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who in 2015 without any pressure willingly conceded victory to me even when collation of result was still in progress.
“Your Excellency, your singular act of placing a call to me doused and calmed frayed nerves all over the country and I sincerely thank you for being a true democrat and a patriotic Nigerian,” he said.
He restated that in the run up to the 2015 election, he and Jonathan were parties to a common purpose to ensure that the 2015 general elections were violent-free and credible.
The president said the accomplishment of that objective has placed Nigeria as a leader in the development of democracy in Africa.
“To underscore his desire for peace and nonviolence, Jonathan kept reiterating that no Nigerian blood should be shed for his ambition. With this book being launched today (yesterday), Nigerians, historians and scholars now have a first-hand account and an insight into what transpired during the transition hours.
“It is difficult for any citizen to imagine what went through the mind of Dr. Jonathan during those lonely lone hours when varieties of counsels for and against were being offered. History has recorded your time as Nigerian’s fifth democratically elected leader since independence. History will judge you well as a patriotic leader,” he said.
He said in the last three and a half years, his administration has demonstrated that service to Nigerians transcend party line and political affiliations.
“That underscores the reason why this administration amongst others remains committed to the service of the nation by completing even projects started by the first dispensation of the current dispensation,” he said.
The President said, “In approximately 88 days from today Nigerians will be exercising their civic duty of electing new leaders in another general elections. I call on all political leaders to see elections as a contest based on principles, programmes and aspirations that will uplift the nation. Elections should never become a declaration of war, rather it should cement our brotherliness and nationhood.”
Thanking Jonathan for documenting his experience, Buhari urged political leaders to eschew bitterness, violence, hate speeches, falsehood and bigotry.