THE erstwhile main opposition party, the All Progressives Party (APC), actually plotted to form a parallel government in 2015, if it was not declared winner of the then presidential election.
The National Peace Committee led by former military head of state, General Abdulsalam Abubakar made the startling revelation in its report unveiled yesterday in Abuja.
According to the 51 page report, 2015 General Elections: The Untold Story, the immediate past president and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), presidential candidate, Dr Goodluck Jonathan got wind of the alleged sinister motive of the key actors in the erstwhile main opposition party prior to the general elections put restrained from moving against them “in the interest of peace and national stability.”
The report published by the Mathew Kukah Centre in Abuja offered insightful details into the role of certain individuals in those uncertain weeks before and after the presidential elections.
The report reads in part: “The meeting with President 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.”
President Jonathan reiterated his previously stated stance that his political ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian and expressed his willingness to meet with General Buhari, even outside the Aso Rock Villa, if such meeting would help douse tension and reassure Nigerians that the country would survive the elections.”
Contrary to the sustained view that President Jonathan was prevailed upon to concede defeat, the General Abubakar committee report revealed that Dr Jonathan had called the APC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari and congratulated the latter before his troubleshooting team intervention.
“As it awaited confirmation for the meeting with the President, the Committee chairman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar also put a call through to General Buhari who informed him that President Jonathan had only minutes earlier, called to concede the elections.
He 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 and unprecedented act for which history would remember him.
“As the Committee members left the Villa, they were accosted by the State House Press and in brief exchange, the Chairman explained that the Committee had come to thank President Jonathan for his great act of patriotism and statesmanship in conceding the elections.
“At this point, the Buhari Campaign team were yet to address the press on the historical 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 helps 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.”
Before the Committee unveiled it’s 2015 report yesterday, it met with certain heads of security agencies, key political actors and chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
Addressing newsmen after the closed-door meeting, Genera Abubakar accused chieftains of political parties of heating up the polity ahead of next February general elections.
He said: “As you are all aware, we are approaching the 2019 elections. Already, you are aware that the polity is being heated. As a result of this, we have decided to step up our actions and ensure that there is peace in the country and politicians play by the rule of the game.
“We also want to ensure that the security agencies and INEC play the same rules. We have interacted with INEC chairman and his staff. Also, we have done same with security agencies. They have one role or the other to play during these elections.
“Later this afternoon (yesterday), we will meet with political parties. The INEC chairman has told us that there are 91 political parties currently registered in Nigeria. In furtherance of ensuring that the peace continues, we are going to listen to them and hear about their complaints.
“We will appeal to political parties to ensure that this politics is played without bitterness. If there is no peace in any country, there won’t be any country at all. This is the essence of this meeting. We want to ensure that we are all on the same wavelength and ensure that there is peace in our country.”