Friday 23 November 2018


'My political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.' - GEJ

'African renaissance remains an unfinished business, but the work that remains should not stop us from focusing on new priorities and challenges.' - GEJ

I was there live at the book launch of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's (GEJ), President of Nigeria (2010-2015) on the 20th of November, 2018 in Abuja. The book titled 'My Transition Hours' catalogued the events that led to the phenomenal moment when GEJ conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. GEJ said 'This book is not my biography, as this will come later. This book reveals how I used power as a shield in the service of our nation and God...'

In his remarks, GEJ was worried about vote buying and selling in Nigeria's elections. He said that in many of the countries where he had observed or monitored elections, vote buying/selling was alien to them. GEJ therefore advised INEC to do the needful and eliminate such negative practice in Nigeria's elections. The book launch was indeed a gathering of who is who in Nigeria and indeed, Africa!

Some of the guests are:

*General Muhammadu Buhari President, Represented by the SGF, Barr. Boss Mustapha
*General Yakubu Gowon - Former Head of State
*General Ibrahim Babangida - Former Head of State Represented by his daughter, Aisha Babangida
*General Abdulsalami Abubakar - Former Head of State
*Chief  Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo - Former Head of State/Former President & Chair of Occasion
*John Dramani Mahama - President of Ghana (2012-2017)
*Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan - President (2010-2015)
*Dame Patience Jonathan - Former First Lady
*Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina - President, Africa Development Bank
*Dr. Bukola Saraki - Senate President
*Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara - Speaker, House of Representatives
*Atiku Abubakar - Former Vice President
*Arc. Namadi Sambo - Former Vice President
*Justice Alfa Belgore - Former Chief Justice of Nigeria/Book Reviewer
*Lt. Gen. T.Y. Danjuma - Former Minister of Defense/Chairman, T.Y. Danjuma Foundation
*Hon. Seriake Dickson - Governor of Bayelsa State
*HRM Igwe Alfred Achebe - Obi of Onitsha/Royal Father of the Day
*Prof. Maxwell Gidado - Fmr. Dean, Faculty of Law, Nasarawa State
*Uche Secondus - Chairman PDP
*Adams Oshiomole - Chairman, APC

                       Photo above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa arriving @ the venue of the conference

There was exchange of banter between the elder statesmen, especially Chief Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo and his former boss, General Yakubu Gowon. Politicians used the opportunity for politicking. Every photo session was turned into a political statement for generations yet unborn. But what were some of the issues discussed in the book? I shall highlight only a few here:

Chapter 3: 'Politics & patriotism - The fuel subsidy dilemma'. GEJ argues that 'politics in Nigeria and some other African countries is conducted like a primitive war!'. His major reference is the battle over fuel subsidy in 2012. He argued that the protests were 'politically motivated.'

Chapter 4: 'The Chibok schoolgirls affair'. GEJ accuses the Governor of Borno state of seizing an 'opportunity to politicise an unfortunate incident while the APC indulged in 'psychological programming', making GEJ look like a villain. GEJ says President Barrack Obama of the USA worked against his re-election.

Chapter 5: 'Stealing & Corruption'. According to GEJ, most of the measures adopted by the APC, like the TSA, IPPIS and BVN are all PDP initiatives.

Chapter 6: 'Power struggle in Nigeria'. GEJ discusses the 'attack of the majorities on the minorities'.

Chapter 7: 'Presidential election campaign'. GEJ explains why he conceded defeat.

Chapter 10: 'The 2014 National Political Conference'. GEJ frowns at the fact that the Buhari regime put the report in the cooler.

Chapters 11-13: 'Public Service Reform'/African Renaissance'

For me, the high point of the occasion was the launch of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF), which is an 'independent, knowledge-based organisation founded to serve as a platform for championing and catalysing positive social and economic progress across Africa.' GJF would propagate the legacies of its founder, GEJ, which include:

*Distinguished record of public service
*Dedication to peace & reconciliation
*The use of 'soft power'
*Adherence to the rule of law
*Inclusive governance
*Promotion of citizens' rights
*National integration
*Respect for the sanctity of human life
*Protection of minority rights
*Environmental justice
*Entrenchment of social equity
*Peaceful political transitions
*Expansion of economic prospects for the governed

The Vision of  GJF is Peaceful, just & inclusive nations of Africa. The Mission is to create and support programmes that underscore our common humanity and inspire new leadership and communities devoted to national harmony, inter-ethnic co-existence, protection of minority rights, environmental justice, gender equity, democratic governance and shared prosperity.

There are 3 main planks for programmes: Democratic Governance, Consolidating Peace & Stability, Promoting Prosperity.

Democratic Governance

*Free, fair & credible elections
*Accountability & social inclusion
*Efficient institutions & the rule of law
*Protection of minority rights
*Equitable access to economic assets
*Leadership & value re-orientation

Consolidating Peace & Stability

*Peace Building & Conflict Prevention
*Consensus building & conflict resolution
*Credible electoral processes & peaceful political transitions
*Citizen participation in political processes
*Human security & emerging threats
*Economic rights

Promoting Prosperity

*Championing youth & women empowerment programmes/projects
*Broadening access to literacy, skills building & training opportunities that enhance income earning capabilities
*Academic & cross-cultural exchanges
*Cross-national exchanges & new post-colonial alliances

The Mission, Vision & Programmes of GJF are indeed laudable and all men and women of goodwill are enjoined to join hands with GEJ to make GJF a Foundation of international standard. Happy 61st birthday, GEJ, and congrats on the launch of 'My Transition Hours' and GJF. You are indeed a statesman!

Relevant Links

*Obama & the 2015 elections
*My Transition Hours: Ebele Jonathan - 97817324922641
*'My Transition Hours': Jonathan invites Buhari, Obasanjo, Atiku to launch
*Governor Shettima describes ex-President Jonathan's My Transition Hours as 'an elementary book of fiction'.   https://1 push,ng/governor-shettima-describes-ex-president-jonathans-my-transition-hours-as-an-elementary-book-of-fiction
*'You lied about corruption', Presidency tells Jonathan
*'My Transition Hours': A review by Reuben Abati
*Jonathan cries out over piracy of book: My Transition Hours
*Mahama joins Goodluck Jonathan to launch book: My Transition Hours
*2019: PDP reacts as Presidency condemns Goodluck Jonathan's 'My Transition Hours'


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