It has emerged that some of the hardcore supporters of former President Goodluck wanted a military coup to prevent Muhammadu Buhari from assuming power.
After Jonathan had conceded the election to Buhari, it was suggested at one of the crisis meetings that the military should stage a coup — in which case neither Jonathan nor Buhari would be in power.
There were fears then that Buhari would launch a vendetta campaign against those who offended him during electioneering.
But the suggestion was shot down by an unnamed person who said it was too late in the day, pointing out that it would have been more plausible before the election was held at all.
These are some of the revelations in a new book, ‘On a Platter of Gold: How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria’, written by Bolaji Abdullahi.
The book will go on sale nationwide from November 30, 2017 after the launch.
In the advance copy made available, the author said everyone who heard the audio of Jonathan’s telephone conversation with Buhari breathed a sigh of relief that the president found it in himself to take the road that had been so less travelled on the continent of Africa.
However, he wrote, “many in President Jonathan’s circles were still convinced that he had moved too quickly to congratulate Buhari. As they saw it, he should have tarried a while and possibly consulted more. In spite of what had happened however, it was still possible to salvage something. Jonathan’s call had more or less shut the door on everything. However, so long as Buhari had not been sworn in, there would still be cracks that sheer grit and guile could blow wide open.
“Another meeting was quickly summoned. Again, the idea of military takeover was mooted. The two most senior military officers at the meeting held to deliberate on this however advised that it was too late in the day. The ideal moment would have been before the six weeks postponement. If they had taken over at the time, they would have sacked (INEC chairman Attahiru) Jega as part of the military intervention and announced a new date for the election.
“While they might not be able to keep Jonathan in power, they would have been able to guarantee that Buhari would not be president. As things stood, no one would be able to withstand the bloodletting that could follow a military takeover after a clear winner had emerged.”
PDP chiefs later held a meeting where it was decided that Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu, who was then the national chairman, should issue a statement rejecting the outcome of the election and that the party would head for the tribunal.
But Mu’azu declined after the statement was drafted, saying: “I am not a bastard. I have honour to protect. The man who contested the election had conceded defeat. I should now be the one to say that the party would not accept defeat? When the candidate was picking his phone to congratulate the winner, did he consult with the party?”