Retired Nigerian Army General, General Abdulsalami Abubakar who led the National Peace Committee has revealed that former President Goodluck Jonathan would have arrested, prosecuted and possibly jailed key members of the then opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.
The committee said Jonathan would have jailed Muhammadu Buhari, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and others for committing treason against the Nigerian state but decided against it, citing national interest above any other.
It also revealed that Jonathan conceded defeat in the 2015 presidential election to the winner and candidate of APC, Buhari, without its (the committee’s) knowledge.
According to reports, the revelation was contained in the report the committee unveiled Tuesday 24th September 2018, in Abuja, after a peace meeting it held with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, heads of security agencies, and representatives of the country’s 91 political parties.
The report was tagged: “2015 General Elections: The Untold Story”, and published by The Kukah Centre, the National Peace Committee.
In the report, the committee said it did not convince Jonathan to concede defeat to Buhari in 2015, contrary to popular media reports.
The committee said its primary concern “has always been how to get the defeated candidates to accept the outcome of the election by conceding promptly and unequivocally so that the winner would naturally have a much easier task to be magnanimous in victory.
It further disclosed that “the committee in the evening of March 31 requested audience with President Jonathan at the Villa.”
The report added;
“As it awaited confirmation for the meeting with the president, the Committee Chairman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, GCFR also put a call through to General Buhari who informed him that President Jonathan had only minutes earlier called to concede the elections.
“He [Buhari] particularly asked the Committee to please convey his good wishes to President Jonathan for his great act of statesmanship.
“Shortly after that, members of the committee, who were greatly relieved, headed to the Villa where they met privately with President Jonathan and thanked him for his great courage.
“At this point, members of the Buhari Campaign team were yet to address the press on the historic development and as such, many Nigerians got the news of the concession from General Abubakar’s brief media scrum with State House Correspondents which perhaps helped create the wrong, but widespread impression that the committee sat with President Jonathan at the Villa as the results came in and had directly prevailed on him to concede.”
The report further disclosed how Jonathan, in a meeting with the committee which had Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar as chairman, religious leaders and media mogul, Sam Amuka, as members, cited “national interest” as reason he stopped his earlier decision to press home with treasonable charges against the then APC presidential candidate, Buhari and other leaders of the party, over threats to form a parallel government if they didn’t win the election.
According to the 51-page document, Jonathan jettisoned the plan “in the interest of peace and national stability.”
Part of page 13 of the report reads: “A meeting with Jonathan was held at the Aso Rock Villa in the afternoon of Wednesday, March 25, 2015. At the meeting, he (Jonathan) raised some issues concerning the state of the nation, the threat of violence by the opposition (APC then) based on allegations that he (Jonathan) and his party were planning to rig the elections.
“He (Jonathan) noted that he took very seriously the threat by leading members of the opposition to form a parallel government in the event that they didn’t win the elections, but that he chose not to react to such apparent treasonable acts in the interest of peace.”
The report also detailed series of meetings held with leaders of the two major political parties in 2015- APC and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
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