President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated his main challenger and winner of the 2015 presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress, over his victory.
This is contained in a message posted on Twitter by the Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, who also said the President will address Nigerians after meeting with his party’s officials.
“President Jonathan congratulated Gen. Buhari in a phone call this evening,” Chidoka tweeted through the handle @Benossy, adding,“President Jonathan will address the nation after a meeting with PDP officials.”
This was confirmed by the APC publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, who said that “President Jonathan called General Muhammadu Buhari, the winner of the elections, to congratulate him.”
Mohammed praised the President and said his move can douse whatever tension that might have existed following the apparent victory of APC candidate even before the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officially declared a winner in the election..
“He will remain a hero for this move. The tension will go down dramatically.
“Anyone who tries to foment trouble on the account that they have lost the election will be doing so purely on his own,” he added.
Reliable sources in the Presidential Villa in Abuja said that a lot of pressure was put on Jonathan by associates, aides, close friends and some family members not to concede defeat.
A high ranking official in the Jonathan administration disclosed that several aides of the President, including his media handlers, minister and a leader from the Niger Delta region tried to convince him not to call Buhari to congratulate him.
However, former Head of State, Abubakar Abdulsalam, is said to have intervened and convinced Jonathan that congratulating the winner of the election was the right thing to do.
At this stage, the Niger Delta leader, our source said, insisted that the only condition on which the President would concede defeat and congratulate Buhari is if he agreed not to “witchhunt” Jonathan and those around him.
Jonathan apparently listened to the former military Head of State rather than his aides.
Jonathan’s action is regarded as particularly mature and statemanly because, even now, INEC has not announced a winner.
The electoral body has announced results in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, remaining Bauchi.
However, the results from Bauchi are already known as they have been announced by the state collation officer.