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When Jonathan Left a Legacy for Prosperity

The presidential election has been won and lost. Nigerians have spoken, so be it. A lot of things happened in this election; there are many questions begging for answers, nobody has explained how and why Goodluck Jonathan lost in such a manner but these are issues for another day.

President Jonathan has conceded defeat; I will live with that decision also. The President being the only person, who should challenge his defeat by going to court to seek redress for any infringement during the election, has decided to let go. What the president did, by conceding, might be the right decision; at least, nobody has been killed now because Buhari has won. We the electorate are the winners because all the monkeys and baboons were not soaked in blood. I thank God that we did not have the spirit of 2011 where after the election instead of accepting defeat and wait for four years to correct the wrong, we simply got soaked in blood.

Many people still can’t understand what went wrong? There are allegations and insinuations of a gang up against President Jonathan, to make sure he was not re-elected; some said that what happened was like a coup, just like the one that happened in 1983 that unseated Shagari, that it was a plan hatched and carried out by some of the former military heads of state to remove Jonathan from power. Only time will reveal what actually went wrong or whether there was a calculated attempt to deny Goodluck Jonathan a second term for any selfish or parochial reasons. Nothing can be hidden from the sun forever!

I know that many people betrayed President Jonathan, but, that will be a topic for another day. Tell me why a vice president was unable to deliver his state; tell me why the PDP national chairman was unable to deliver his state; tell me why most of the ministers failed to deliver their respective states for their principal; tell me why some PDP governors were unable to deliver their respective states? Why didn’t the Senate President deliver his state? Another reason why the president lost was that his media advisers failed to do their job well, because, they didn’t spread the information, about the president’s achievements, well. Reuben Abati failed in his job. The first lady, Patience Jonathan, was also a major reason the president failed. The woman was so overbearing that she drove many, who could have helped the president, away from PDP into APC, and that made a difference. The PDP also shot itself in the foot by its maltreatment of so many people, leading to the exodus of many prominent members, from the party. Although Buhari won the election, Nigerians are also the winners here, for the way they conducted themselves during the election period despite the challenges many faced before casting their vote due to the problems associated with the biometric system and the card reading machines employed by INEC. The greatest winner here is President Goodluck Jonathan. He was magnanimous in defeat, and for him to congratulate the president-elect, even before the announcement of the winner by INEC, sets him apart from others. Goodluck Jonathan made his mind to accept either defeat or win, and that’s why he is a man of character, just like in the words of Richard M Nixon (1913 -1994), where he said, “You’ve got to learn to survive a defeat. That’s when you develop character”. Goodluck is in a class of his own, because, he would be the first incumbent ever to hand over federal power to a man who defeated him in an election. Jonathan has shown that desperation and defeat do not dwell in the hearts and minds of those who know and believe that God is the giver of power; he might have been a student of Henry Ward Beecher (1813 -1887) who wrote, “defeat is a school in which truth always grows strong”.

Just in the words of Edwin Markham (1852 -1940) that “defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out”; Goodluck Jonathan is also a winner here! Even when some of those around him, as the results were collated by INEC, advised him, to hang on to power, he refused all the other options he had, more especially when INEC bungled the whole process, right from the beginning. Think of the difference it would have made, if all the votes have counted. There were also cases of number of votes being more than the number of registered voters etc.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s main concern was to leave a legacy as the first President of Nigeria to conduct a relatively free and fair election even if it means losing power himself, and for that he deserves our praise and respect: The President has demonstrated that falling down isn’t defeat, but, that defeat is when you refuse to get up.

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