Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, said that the decision of former president Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat after the 2015 presidential election was responsible for bringing Nigeria’s democracy to maturity.
Dogara who said this in a remarks at the launching of the book “My Transition Hours” written by the former president in Abuja Monday, argued that not only did the singular action bring honour to him and place him among the rank of Africa’s statesmen, it also conferred legitimacy to Nigeria’s political process.
He added that the former president deserves to be celebrated for not choosing to take the path of African demagogues and narcissists by relying on the executive powers when he was in authority in order to pursue an ambition of remaining in office.
Going further, he noted that, “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 recalled the tension that the nation 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.”
He stated, “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.”