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How Two Ex-Ministers, Special Adviser Knelt, Begged Jonathan To Concede Defeat In 2015 – Adeniyi


The Chairman ThisDay Board of Editors, Olusegun Adeniyi has narrated how former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, Minister of aviation, Osita Chidoka begged ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

Adeniyi, in his book, ‘Against the Run of Play’ revealed that ex-Special Assistant to the then President on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa alongside those mentioned above knelt and begged Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He pointed out that in the midst of the confusion, two ministers in Jonathan’s cabinet and Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs went on their knees to beg him to concede so as to steer Nigeria off the path of chaos.

“Kneeling in front of Jonathan were his Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN; Aviation Minister, Mr. Osita Chidoka and Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Affairs, Mr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.

“The mission of the three officials was to persuade Jonathan to call and congratulate his opponent, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), even as the final results were still being collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“Seated a few metres away in the room were Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr. Godswill Akpabio; Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara and the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

“Chidoka had co-opted Adoke and Dudafa to make the plea after a conversation he had with Jonathan the previous day. The President had acknowledged that the results were going against him and that he was going to concede.

“This was at a period when Nigerians were unsure who would win, with many politicians within the ruling People’s Democratic Party still betting on Jonathan. He meanwhile, has asked Chidoka and a few others, including his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, to give him a draft concession speech”, he said.

The former Presidential spokesman claimed that Jonathan’s mind was “soured” due to the use of underage voters in the North, but he still conceded defeat to Buhari after he was convinced into taking the step.

Adeniyi said, “The report had it that Jonathan’s mind about the election had been soured by his loyalists that the election had been compromised, particularly in the Northern states, where under-aged voters were allowed to cast millions of votes in favour of his opponent, Buhari.

“With photographic evidence, Jonathan was shown how under-age people were allowed to vote at some polling units in Kano and Bauchi States.

“This inflamed those within the government who were urging Jonathan not to concede, even as it became increasingly clear that he had lost. The general feeling within The Villa, a view fervently shared by Jonathan, was that the INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, the INEC Chairman, was part of a “northern conspiracy” against him.”

Quoting the former President, Adeniyi said, “With that, Jonathan decided to keep all options open. This emboldened some of his supporters who were desperate enough to want to disrupt the election.

“Among the strongest arguments for a potentially-rigged election were the results from Kano State, Jonathan himself admitted,” to the author.

“Go and check the results from Kano. The presidential election and that of National Assembly happened on the same day and same time. The National Assembly result reflected that about 800,000 people voted, but that of the presidential reflected a vote of about 1.8 million.

“It had reports of what happened, but I decided that for such to be accepted, it meant that, those who called themselves my supporters must have colluded. I was betrayed by the very people I relied on to win the election.”

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