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Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has said that the fact that he conceded defeat without a fight during the 2015 elections, does not mean he is a coward; but that he did so to set a standard for Nigeria’s democracy to continue going forward.
Jonathan added that he would not have imagined a situation where because of contest for power, Nigeria, the biggest black nation on earth, would slide into anarchy, and put the lives of Nigerians, the country’s economy, and investments to the risk of unnecessary destruction.
“I am not a coward, but I decided to respect the sanctity of human lives”, Jonathan said.

Jonathan stated this at the sixth edition of African Ambassadors Interactive Forum and Dinner, organised by the African Third Sector Resource, in Abuja, on Thursday, where he was honoured with the “African Leadership & Achievement Award”.
The former President was represented by the former Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Abubakar Suleiman, at the event which had its theme as: “Deepening Democracy and Ensuring Human Security.”
“I always say that I reformed the democratic process as President, in order to consolidate democracy in Nigeria and the sub-region. I conceded defeat without a fight, because I wanted to set a standard for our democracy, going forward.
“My aim then was to change the narrative, and prove that election-related litigation should no longer define Nigeria’s democracy. People must not always go to court and obtain judgments before elections in Nigeria are declared conclusive. 

“We do not get to hear about such court cases in mature democracies. I wanted us to get to that point in our democratic experience. I thought that it would not be out of place, if we get to that stage where those who lost elections will be able to congratulate those who won”, he said.
Part of the reason he said, was also to prove some agencies in the United States which had already predicted Nigeria’s disintegration due to the mounting tensions at the time, wrong.
“Above all, what that decision did for me and the nation, was to avert a looming crisis. Given the tension in the land as of that time, I was deeply contemplative of what would have happened if we had let our nation, the biggest black nation on earth, slide into anarchy, because of contestations for power. What then would have happened to our citizens, Nigeria’s economy, and the investments driving its growth?
“I was convinced that the implications for peace and the economy of the sub-region and the rest of the continent, could not have spelt anything else, but doom.
“Recall, that after the 2011 Presidential election which most observers adjudged transparent, with my victory generally seen to have been well-deserved, crisis and conflicts still surfaced that claimed the lives of many of our compatriots, and properties worth billions of naira destroyed”, he said.

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