*Says ‘My Decision To Concede Defeat Costly’
President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said his decision to concede defeat in the last Presidential election was a costly one, not only for members of his family, but for his supporters and cabinet members.
He said many people were hurt for his resolve to concede defeat, expressing hope that he would not lose Dame Patience through a possible divorce.
Jonathan said although his action did not go down well with many in Nigeria, adding that he had to take the decision of congratulating the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari in the interest of peace of the country.
He said this in Abuja at a Thanksgiving and Farwell Service organised in his honour by the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion at the Life Camp, Gwarimpa, Abuja today.
Stressing how costly his decision was, Jonathan alluded to the case of former South-African President in the days of apartheid, Frederik Willem de Klerk who he said got a divorce from his wife of many years simply for announcing that he would relinquish power to the blacks in the country.
De Klerk and his wife Marike divorced formally 1998 shortly on irreconcilable differences, not long after South-Africa obtained flag independence.
Turning to his wife from the podium where he was making his speech, Jonathan said “I hope my wife will not divorce me”, leaving the church to erupt in chuckles.
He said, “I did everything in the interest of Nigeria and as long as I live, I will continue to do my best for the country and will always offer my services”
The President said he had every reason to be grateful to God for standing by him in his five years of leading Nigeria, as he said all through his life he had enjoyed the favour of God.
He said the favour of God began to shine on his life right from his school days when he enjoyed scholarship up to the university level to cushion the effect of his poor background.
He said the favour continued to trail him up till the time he entered for a Post Graduate course in the University in which case he said his employers decided to fund his Post Graduate studies.
He said furthers that even after graduation after his second degree, he did not look for Job as he was immediately offered a job in the Nigerian customs where he said he worked briefly before finding himself in politics.
According to him, he also enjoyed the privilege of serving as the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state from where he said luck took him to the Presidential villa to serve as Vice President and then the President of Nigeria.
He expressed sympathy with members of his cabinet, who he said would face persecution after his exit from power, just as he urge his supporters in government to prepare for hard times.
He said his consolation, however is that “We came to Abuja in peace and we are returning home peacefully”
Jonathan thanked his supporters across the federation and in particular the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), just as he wished the incoming government good and rewarding stay.
Jonathan at the end of the service was presented with a portrait of him bearing the map of Nigeria, as a gift from the Anglican Church of Nigeria