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22 Nov 2018

My supporters in the North would have been killed if I didn't concede defeat in 2015—Jonathan reveals

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the fear of his supporters – especially Christians and southerners living in the North – being killed propelled him to accept the outcome of the 2015 Presidential election which he lost.

Jonathan said this in his recently published book titled, ‘My Transition Hours’.

He recalled how many of his supporters were killed in the 2011 Presidential election in some northern states after the then candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, Muhammadu Buhari, lost.

The former President said he had received intelligence report which had hinted that Nigeria would have collapsed had he rejected the outcome of the poll.

He said there were justifiable grounds for him to reject the outcome of the poll but he was determined to ensure that Nigeria would not disintegrate under his watch.

Jonathan said, “The fate of thousands of Christians and southerners in the North and my other northern supporters who were at the risk of being slaughtered if I took a selfish decision lay heavily on my mind.

“What rang persistently in my mind was the futility of vanity. What would it profit me if I clung on to power and let my country slide into an avoidable crisis? Who would stop the impending crisis? Too many things were bound to go wrong.

“The multiple massacres which characterised the aftermath of the 2011 elections were still fresh in my memory. I was neither willing nor ready to look grieving children and parents in the eye and explain to them that they lost their loved ones because of their leadership struggle.”

The former President said he had received an interim report that youths had been armed and mobilised to unleash mayhem.

He said the youths had been given guns, petrol bombs, knives and other substances in anticipation of violence on a massive scale.

Jonathan also recalled how Buhari had said in 2013 that the dogs and the baboons would be soaked in blood if the outcome of the 2015 election was the same as 2011.

He said, “An eerie comment was made two years before by the then main opposition candidate threatening that ‘if what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’

“Of course what happened in 2011 was that the opposition had lost the Presidential election that was unanimously adjudged free and fair by both international and local observer missions.”

“When I met with President Obama after the 2011 elections, he told me that from the information they had, the elections were free and fair. Yet, here was the opposition threatening to soak the country in blood if the same thing occurred in 2015.”

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