Abdullahi, who was a minister in Jonathan’s government, described the book as an exclusive account of the “making and the unmaking” of the administration of the Nigerian leader.
According to him, the book gives revelations of the intrigues that surrounded the 2015 presidential election and its aftermath.
“On a Platter of Gold is part history, part political thriller, which answers many of the often-asked questions about Jonathan’s incredible rise to the highest political office in the land and his unprecedented electoral defeat in 2015,” Abdullahi said in a statement.
“The book, which has the subtitle, ‘How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria’, is introduced as follows:
“Was Goodluck Jonathan weak and clueless, as his traducers have claimed? Or – as his supporters have alleged – was he just a victim of vicious conspiracies by an entitled cabal that would stop at nothing to bring down this ‘intruder’ to power?
”From an unknown university teacher, Goodluck Jonathan rose to become President of Africa’s largest democracy, in less than a decade -most astonishingly, without winning a single vote in his name. In contesting the 2011 presidential election, he declared that growing up as the son of a fisherman in the creeks of Nigeria’s Niger Delta, he had no shoes. This message resonated with millions of Nigerians. “If I can make it, then you can as well,” he had declared. He went on to win with the highest majority vote ever recorded in the nation’s history.”
Asked why he wrote the book, Abdullahi said : “I believe that journalists who find themselves in government owe it as a duty to the profession to tell a good story afterwards.”
A former columnist and editor with Thisday newspaper, Abdullahi brought his perceptive power as a skillful analyst to bear, producing a great work of free-flowing prose.
As a former minister in Jonathan’s cabinet, Abdullahi had easy access to the major characters in the story, his former colleagues actually. Using this to great advantage, he has produced what may be considered a seminal book not only on the Jonathan administration but also on the contemporary history of Nigerian politics.
“Using this to great advantage, he has produced what may be considered a seminal book not only on the Jonathan administration but also on the contemporary history of Nigerian politics,” the statement read.
Azu Ishiekwene, managing director and editor-in-chief of The Interview and board member of the Global Editors Network, described the book as ”a rare three-dimensional view of the Goodluck Jonathan presidency… the book combines the insights of an insider with the penetrating curiosity of a notable journalist… You can’t start reading the book and not want to finish it”.
For Wale Adebanwi, Rhodes professor of race relations at Oxford University, the book is “an undoubtedly illuminating narrative of Nigeria’s unending democratic possibilities and endless frustrations”.
“This book again emphasises how the various factions of the Nigerian political elite are gifted in the art of the capture and re-capture of power but largely vacuous in the art of building and sustaining a good society,” he said.
“In Abdullahi’s fascinating account, we encounter absorbing details of the politics of the (im)possible, the absurdities of an untameable appetite for power, the vanities of privilege, prestige and personal glory and the selective outrage regarding some fundamental national crises which members of a faction of the elite used in propelling themselves to power.”