Abuja stands still as Jonathan presents memoir

*Buhari, Gowon, Obasanjo, Abdulsalami Abubakar lead long list of dignitaries

*Dickson donates N100m grant,  present C-of-O for six hectares of land

By Kemi Yesufu

Abuja is practically standing still as top dignitaries have gathered at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in honour of former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as he presents his memoir entitled, My Transition Hours.

Jonathan who is celebrating his 61st birthday famously conceded the 2015 presidential election to President Muhammadu Buhari. The book as speculated is his own version of events that led to his defeat in the 2015 presidential election.

Already, hundred of dignitaries are on ground for the event kick started by the  rendition of the National anthem by opera singer Abiodun Koya.


President Muhammadu Buhari is represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.

Some of the country’s past and present leaders in ground include: Former Heads of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd), Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) and former Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

Also at the well attended event is the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Yakubu Dogara.

L-R: Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (right), Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (left), and Former Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Welfare Commission, Mr. John Kennedy (middle), during the Public Presentation and Former Launch of My Transition Hours a book by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, held in Abuja yesterday

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State is chief host of the event. This is as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta Date was one of the early arrivals . Gov. Nyesom Wike , Gov. Darius Isyaku, Gov. Udom Emmanuel, Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo and Gov. Ben Ayade were also in attendance.

The presence of royal father of the say and the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe has added prestige to the event.

Meanwhile, Jonathan and his wife, Patience spent a lot of time their feet as guests took turns to felicitate with them.

Former minister of Aviation Osita Chidoka who took over from ace compete Ebere Young to list the achievements of the Jonathan administration has handed over to Prof. Osita Ogbu to introduce the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation .
Former Vice-President and Presidential candidate of the PDP, Mr. Atiku Abubakar was received with a resounding ovation as he walked into the hall.

According to Ogbu , Jonathan will donate all proceeds from the launch of book to his foundation.

The international community was well represented with former African leaders as well members of the diplomatic corps.

….Dickson donates N100m grant,  present C-of-O for six hectares of land

Meanwhile Gov. Dickson announced a N100 million grant on behalf of the Bayelsa State government to the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation.

He also announced a five million naira monthly grant to support the foundation’s administrative expenditure.

This is even as he presented the Certificate of Occupancy for six hectares of land to Jonathan to build the complex for his foundation.

The Bayelsa governor equally purchased a thousand copies of the book for his state.

……Obasanjo welcomed with loud ovation

Former Vice President Namadi Sambo in his speech described Jonathan as a leader who adhered strictly to merit.

According to Sambo, Jonathan picked him as his deputy based on merit, overlooking individuals who lobbied for the position.

He further disclosed that the former INEC chairman, Prof. Atahiru Jega was appointed to head the electoral agency without having any relationship with Jonathan.

Sambo announced that former President Oluwasegun Obasanjo as one of the key players in GEJ’s history and the democratic story of Nigeria will also attend and  speak at the book launch.

Obasanjo soon arrived and he was welcomed with a loud ovation.

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole’s appearance also led to loud momours of approval from the crowd.

Oshiomhole a harsh critic of the Jonathan administration walked up to the former President for a warm handshake.


….. Jonthan’s transition hours ‘Nigeria’s finest hours’- Saraki

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki in his speech described Jonathan’s transition hours as ‘Nigeria’s finest hours’. He opined that Nigerians have a lot to learn from the former president’s book, even as leaders should imbibe the spirit of the book. Speaker Yakubu, who commended the Oshiomhole for attending the event as politics shouldn’t lead to opposing parties becoming enemies, said Jonathan refused to join the table of sit tight leaders by making the call to his opponent in 2015. According to him, Jonathan earned himself a seat in the group of African statesmen by handing over power peacefully.

….What President John Mahama  said about Jonathan 

Former president of Ghana who played a major role at the event, said he never doubted Jonathan’s democratic credentials, saying he assured worried members of the international community as chairman of ECOWAS, that the former president would do the right thing, no matter the outcome of the 2015 election. Mahama who explained his similarities with Jonathan, said they both took over power when their bosses died and conceded elections when they lost. Just like Gowon, Saraki and Maham stressed that Jonathan showed that he was sincere, when  he often said that his ambition wasn’t worth the blood of any Nigerian. Another former African President who had kind words for Jonathan was Ernest Bai Koroma of Serria Leone. Former governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu spoke on behalf of past PDP governors, while Mr. Seminu Turaki SAN took the stage on behalf of past ministers.

…..’My Transition Hours’ unveiled

Former minister of Defence, Gen. T. Y Danjuma (retd) was scheduled to unveil the book. He was represented by the former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (retd), who led a string of dignitaries to unveil the book.


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