Goodluck Jonathan The First African Incumbent To Concede Defeat?
“Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.” – Confucius
“Claiming a title you did not earn is fraud” – Dictionary
I was compelled to ask myself this question as a result of the flurry of rave reviews given to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by journalists, political scientists, public affairs analysts, social media commentators and sundry personalities over his graceful concession of defeat to General Muhammadu Buhari.
One of the pseudo-public affairs analysts even went as far as to enthuse that “It is still a surprise to me that a developing country’s president could act the way Jonathan has acted”.
This prompted me to conduct a research as to whether or not GEJ is the first African incumbent to readily concede defeat at the polls. However, before you read further, note that this piece is not meant to belittle GEJ’s noble conduct. NO! It is simply meant to set the record straight!
Below are my findings:
Indeed, the first president in post- colonial Africa to transfer power peacefully and gracefully to an Opposition candidate was Somalian President, Aden Abdulle Osman. And this was as far back as 1968!
1. In 1968, Somalian President, Aden Abdulle Osman conceded defeat and handed over power to Opposition candidate, Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.
2. In 1991, Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) which had ruled Zambia for 27 years (1964-1991) conceded defeat and handed over power to Opposition candidate, Frederick Chiluba of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD).
3. In 1994, Malawian President, Hastings Banda conceded defeat and handed over power to Opposition candidate, Bakili Muluzi.
4. In 2000, Senegalese President, Abdou Diouf congratulated and handed over power to Opposition candidate, Abdoulaye Wade. US House of Representatives congratulated President Diouf for stepping down before the results were officially announced
5. President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal in 2012 likewise conceded defeat after preliminary results hours after elections closed before final results were announced.
6. In 2000, Mauritanian Prime Minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam accepted defeat defeat and handed over power to Opposition candidate, Sir Anerood Jugnauth.
7. In 1999 Nelson Mandela of South Africa did not just hand over, he fulfilled his promise of stepping down and not running for a second term. A promise Goodluck Jonathan also made but failed to keep.
You become a hero when you avert a barbaric war by stopping yourself from starting it. I guess that applies in a baboons world.
— Dr. Peregrino Brimah (@EveryNigerian) April 9, 2015
Some Idiot says GEJ shld get a Nobel prize for abiding by the law this once; & what should 170 million Nigerians get? Nobel committee? — Dr. Peregrino Brimah (@EveryNigerian) April 9, 2015