Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, (APC Kebbi), has revealed how he and former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Adamu Mu’azu persuaded former President Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat to Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Senator Na’Allah said that the story of events that led to the conceding of defeat to Buhari “were inaccurately stated” by Jonathan in his new book, My Transition Hours.
The lawmaker told Daily Mail, “Mu’azu called me saying from the intelligence report we got, we have lost this election. So, I want you to come to Abuja and persuade Jonathan to concede defeat for the sake of peace.”
According to him, he arrived Abuja that fateful day and went to Mu’azu’s house where he met Buhari Bala, former treasurer of PDP, Inuwa Baba, and Ambassador Sani Saulawa.
Na’Allah said the former PDP chairman drove them to the Presidential Villa.
“At the Villa, we met former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, Jonathan’s special assistant on domestic matters, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, and his ADC Colonel Ojogbane Adegbe.
“At the Villa, Adamu Mu’azu asked ‘where is the president,’ and Chidoka answered that he was having a meeting with the Attorney General Mohammed Adoke.
“While we are standing there for about 15 minutes, Adamu Mu’azu ordered that he should be served tea. As the tea man was coming with the tea, Adoke alighted from a room holding a file and came straight to Adamu Mu’azu and said ‘we will not allow this to happen.’ We exchanged pleasantries and he hurriedly left.
“Then, President Jonathan invited us (Mu’azu and Na’Allah) into a room. When we got into the room, we barely settled when Jonathan looked at Mu’azu and said ‘Mr Chairman, the numbers coming out so far do not appear to be encouraging.’
“It was at that stage that I cut in and said, yes, Mr President, we only have Oyo waiting. And even if the entire Oyo gives PDP the entire votes, the elections have already been lost. The next thing is how to handle the remaining parts of the transition. And I am of the opinion that God has given you the golden opportunity to write your name in gold.
“Then, Jonathan pointed to about five boxes in that room, and said ‘these are my things and I have started packing’,” he narrated.
Na’Allah said Jonathan then gave them a long story of how he became a deputy governor in Bayelsa, then vice president, and later president and how he was serving his second term, saying he will never be part of anything that will bring problems into Nigeria.
The senator said it was at the end of that meeting that Jonathan told them that “if my fault is that I have not jailed people, let Buhari come and jail whoever he wants to jail.”
He said as they were leaving the room, “Ahmadu Ali came in looking disturbed. And got into the same room we met Jonathan. We then left.
“About three hours later, we were sitting down with Mu’azu, Ambassador Saulawa, and Inuwa Baba, when the breaking news came that Jonathan had put a call to Buhari as president-elect. And we all jubilated and left.”
The senator said for Jonathan to completely leave that aspect from his book, “to me, is like he inaccurately told the story of what happened on that day. And, I think, it is not fair that this fundamental aspect be left aside. It is not for Bala Na’Allah but for history and Nigeria.”
According to Na’Allah, he was also disturbed by another aspect of Jonathan’s account where he said, in page 76 of his book, that he was in his leaving room with some of his aides and ministers, “…and they were recommending sundry alternatives.”
“Nigerians are entitled to know what were these recommendations. This is because it is only when we know these recommendations that we will know whether the decision he took was as a result of our advice or the sundry issues they have recommended.
“One thing, I am sure is, President Jonathan will not deny the fact we were the first to meet him over this matter.”