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Why I Didn’t Push My Husband to Hold On to Power -Patience Jonathan

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Nigeria’s former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has shared details of her husband’s last days in office, stressing how she encouraged him to concede defeat and hand over power after losing the presidential election in 2015.


Mrs Jonathan spoke on Thursday at a colloquium to mark the 60th anniversary of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). She delivered a speech on ‘Public relations, value reorientation, and economic transformation’.


She said, “My dear husband, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, showed a good example as a peace lover when, as a sitting president, he relinquished power without a fight after losing the presidential election in 2015.

“Today, he’s a reference point all over the world as a man who loves peace and pursues it earnestly.”

She described the former president as a global symbol of peace, admired for his commitment to pursuing peaceful resolutions in governance.

Dame Jonathan stressed the profound connection between peace and progress, stating firmly, “We must talk of peace because where there is no peace, there will be no development. Where there is no peace, nobody can live there.”

Recalling the momentous occasion of conceding defeat in the 2015 elections, Dame Patience Jonathan shared a personal insight into the decision-making process.

“When he lost the election, I stood by him. He is my husband. We were in the room when we were told that he had lost the election,” she recounted, emphasising their shared resolve against clinging to power.

“I didn’t encourage him to hold onto power because blood would have been shed, and innocent people would have died.”

Expressing deep concern for the potential human cost of political strife, Dame Jonathan pleaded for national unity and peace.

“Who could have been the casualty? We don’t know. It could have been you, me, or our loved ones,” she poignantly remarked, invoking a sense of shared responsibility and compassion.

“We don’t want anybody to die. We are brothers and sisters; we are one country. Please and please, I am begging you, we need peace.”

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