The Chairman of LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah has given insights into what transpired behind the scenes of the 2015 presidential elections leading up to the moments the then President Goodluck Jonathan, who was also a contestant, called the winner and current President, Muhammadu Buhari to concede defeat even before final results were announced by the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain further named Senator Ben Bruce, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, the then Director General of the Department of State Security, Ita Ekpenyong, former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka and a handful of others as persons who encouraged former President Jonathan to concede against the wishes of persons he described as “criminals who wanted Jonathan to rig the election no matter how many people would die as a result.”
Mr Nda-Isaiah made this revelations at the LEADERSHIP Awards themed “Democracy, Political Transition And The Challenge of Leadership in Africa” in Abuja, Yesterday, just as he added that the former president’s singular action, made it easier for several state governors to concede defeat.
Nda-Isaiah said “something else was happening on that day. President Goodluck Jonathan told then Senator-elect Ben Bruce and other party faithful who saw him that Monday morning that he would be conceding. Some of the party faithful didn’t understand what he meant because that had never happened before. He went on to say that if he didn’t concede, 10,000 Nigerians would die by the end of that day.
“Ben Bruce encouraged him. Others who played major roles in encouraging him included Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, Ita Ekpenyong, the then DSS DG and Osita Chidoka, the then Minister of Aviation and a handful of others. These people had to battle the criminals who wanted Jonathan to rig the election no matter how many people would die as a result.”
While congratulating the then Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega for “simply doing his job courageously”, LEADERSHIP Chairman said he has “set a standard for all his successors.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, he said, became the first opposition candidate to unseat a sitting president even when many including many in the present government who had said the day would never come while adding that the story of the 2015 election will be told to many generations.
“President Muhammadu Buhari also became the first opposition candidate to unseat a sitting president. Before it was done, nobody thought that was possible. I know many Nigerians, including many serving in government today, who had said that day would never come. PMB’s victory has also changed presidential politics in Nigeria forever.” Nda-Isaiah said.