By Haruna Akwanga, Lafia
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has suggestions that he was pressured to concede defeat after the 2015 Presidential elections.
Speaking Lafia, Nasarawa State capital on Saturday, the former President said that he took the decision based on his own personal conviction that it was the right thing to do.
Jonathan spoke at the graduation ceremony of Bingham University in Nasarawa State where he and ex-head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon were awarded honorary doctorate degrees.
“I understand from the Vice Chancellor’s speech and the citation that I was selected for this award because I ensured a peaceful and united country during my tenure as President especially during the 2015 general election.
“I am fulfilled knowing that my conceding while the votes were still being compiled, which was born out of my personal principles and convictions, is generating positive impact in other nations. Let me make it clear, that I was not persuaded to do so by anyone within or outside the country. I know it was the right thing to do.”
“My mantra ‘my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian’ is my vow. It was not just a political slogan. One of the reason I convened the 2014 National Conference was to come up with a polity devoid of tension and crisis, a polity that will bring unity to this country; a polity that will not divide us along tribal, ethnic or religious lines.”
Jonathan condemned the action of some politicians whom he accused of sending their own children abroad, only to recruit children of other people as thugs to fight and die during elections because of their unquenchable ambition, stressing that such acts were against human dignity.
He said further: “I believe in a peaceful Nigeria and since my award today is based on my commitment to peace, I have a simple message to my fellow graduands and indeed the entire student body.
“For the young men and women that are receiving their degrees and certificates in this convocation, we are handing over the baton of leadership to you. You must unite and embrace peace for us to have the Nigeria of our dreams.”
On why he accepted the award, the former President said: During my service as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I had many invitations from national and international institutions to be honoured but I declined because I believe one is better honoured after service.
“The only Honorary Doctorate Award I accepted in the country was from my Alma Mater, the University of Port Harcourt when I was a Vice President.”
Jonathan further praised the university authorities, saying: “By imparting knowledge through this institution, you are saving lives and advancing the cause of education in Nigeria. I was mindful of this duty during my time in office which is why my administration made it a practice to give education the highest sectoral allocation in the federal budgets between 2011 and 2015.
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