Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, has said there would not have been democracy in Nigeria today, if Goodluck Jonathan had won the presidential election in 2015.
Shehu stated this while appearing on a special end of the year programme: ‘2019 End Of A Decade’ on Channels Television.
The presidential aide hailed Attahiru Jega, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for saving Nigeria’s democracy in 2015.
He said Jega’s refusal to deny Buhari victory in the election has saved the nation’s democracy from collapsing.
Shehu maintained that there was a move by the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to seize power.
He said: “We thank God for Jega and the civil society activism at that time because if Jega had caved in, this democracy would have collapsed at that time.
“So, it is an interesting time that we had lived through and then, it tells a story of the resilience of our democracy and that we shouldn’t just toy with it. It didn’t come cheap, it didn’t come easy.”
The Presidential spokesman disclosed that the All Progressives Congress (APC), officials had monitored the election closely.
“For us in the situation room at that time, it was an attempt to grab power or to hold on to power by regime elements or beneficiaries of the system who saw defeat staring them in the face.
“Before those results got to the INEC chairman and he announced them, you are aware that parties had representatives at the lowest of the point; the polling units and the local councils, and the states.
“They did a collation of their own and they had a sense of how or which direction things were going. So, it was obvious to those regime elements at that time that the regime was falling,” he added.