When powerful people lose, they are at first in denial, believing they are invincible – and brush aside all the facts and scenarios pointing at defeat! We all suffer from some form of delusion, but those who have tasted power and enormous wealth, especially on the executive level in politics, have delusion on a grand scale. And they can only manage this delusion of grandeur if they allow a few people around them to tell them the bitter truth, plant their feet firmly on the ground. For President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan whose streak of luck and fortune perpetually astound, he believed in his destiny as a God-sent and the anointed one. And almost never thought he could lose as an incumbent with all the paraphernalia and resources at his disposal. And because he’s surrounded by political jobbers, sycophants and those who are afraid to tell him the truth because of repercussions, it was very difficult for him to read the map objectively. He was imprisoned by liars and fraudsters with less than noble intentions. They made him believe that he has truly transformed Nigeria, developed it to the biggest economy in Africa with abundant employment, first class infrastructure, 24 hour electricity, modern trains criss crossing the length and breadth of the country, smooth roads, incorrigible public servants, first rate health care facilities, best education one can desire! That Nigerians are happy and jolly. They told him he was too good to lose.
When it became apparent that he had lost the March 28, 2015 Presidential election, he was downcast and dejected, sad and withdrawn. Many things raced through his mind, especially what will become of his future and his standing in the eyes of those who courted and glamorised his office and person.
The first reaction would be to dismiss the election as grossly flawed, not free nor fair, and of course, not credible.
He considered the amount of efforts that went into his campaign, the resources despatched, the endorsements from the most critical segments of the society, and it became easy for him to think he was robbed of victory.
But when he looked at the pattern of voting, acknowledging the advantage of the card reader, it became clearer that he perhaps really lost the election.
So, what should l do now, he pondered.
The pressure from the international community, the peace accords signed and the reminder that he had pledged to respect the outcome of the election, led to more confusion.
Refusing to accept the result could lead to far reaching repercussions difficult to predict. There would be widespread violence which would lead to arson and deaths. There could even be secession or civil war.
While his mind raced hither and thither, he was reportedly approached by General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Commission – and he was persuaded to phone General Buhari, the winner of the election. And at 5:15 pm , the historic call which lasted only a few seconds was tense and awkward. But it saved the nation from an unpredictable violent future.
The mind of a powerful, wealthy loser usually deceives the ‘actor’ from accepting reality, and the greater good is easily sacrificed. Defeat drives the powerful insane, leaving them in rage and ‘bring-down-everything-and-everyone-with-me’ syndrome. Unless reason prevails, which happened in the case of President Jonathan on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
Having considered his good fortune, the fact that he never thought he could get this far, leaving in the blaze of glory is a bonus that will register his name as the first incumbent President who lost and saved his country from chaos, destruction and perdition.