The Presidency on Friday declared President Goodluck Jonathan as an eternal hero and champion of democracy.The Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, at a press conference in Abuja, said in spite of the glaring irregularities and inconsistencies of the electoral process, President Jonathan threaded the path of honour by conceding to his opponent, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.) even before the result was formally announced.
According to Alkali, “The destinies of all great nations in the world are greatly shaped by the behaviour, attitude and actions of their leaders.
“The March 28 Presidential election which has been described by both domestic and international observers as a defining moment in the history of Nigeria has come and gone.
“It is an undisputable fact that the saving grace of our great country in this historic election has been the candour, conduct and comportment of President Goodluck Jonathan who has elevated himself to the status of an eternal hero and a champion of democracy.
“This is particularly so because in spite of the glaring irregularities and inconsistencies of the electoral process, President Jonathan took the unprecedented step of conceding to his opponent, Gen. Buhari even before the result was formally announced.”
Alkali added that President Jonathan had always been passionate about the unity, progress and development of Nigeria, adding that his bold step had once more strengthened the bedrock of unity in Nigeria and had deepened democratic governance in the country.
He added, “It is clear that Mr. President’s participation in this contest was not for his personal interest but for the advancement of our vision of a united and prosperous Nigeria. This is precisely why he expanded the democratic space by allowing an opposition group to flourish.”
According to him, “In a number of countries around the world, there are countless examples of interventions to scuttle opposition parties including systematic efforts by government to undermine their leadership.
“It is to President Jonathan’s credit that the two general elections conducted under his watch have been adjudged the best in the history of the country. He has therefore reached a moral high ground and shall continue to be a source of inspiration to all who believe in Nigeria’s democracy.”
Alkali added that there was no doubt that passions were sometimes inflamed in the course of the campaigns, but added that the ultimate goal had always been to strengthen and develop institutions in the country.
The election, he said, was a test case for the maturity of Nigeria’s democracy.
He insisted that President Jonathan had led Nigeria through this test in flying colours.
The Presidential aide said, “The Nigerian people and security agencies must be commended for effective management of security during and after the elections. It is obvious that the services committed themselves fully to ensure the successful conduct of the election.
“It is our firm desire that moving forward; Nigerians will continue to show faith in the ballot box as the highest means of political expression and will therefore jealously protect its sanctity.
“I wish to use this opportunity to thank those who believed in the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan and sacrificed time, energy and resources for his success at the polls. We may seem not to have realised our goal but our contributions have tremendously enriched the democratic process in Nigeria.
“We have one more lap to go with the state elections scheduled for April 11, 2015. Let us all come out and ensure that the transformational ideals of President Jonathan are instilled in our various states by mobilising heavily for the PDP.”