A lot has been said about President Goodluck Jonathan’s concession to President Elect General Buhari and the follow up speech he read out to the nation. It was an act of bravery for many and one people will not forget easily. In fact many have penciled him down for a global award and recognition as an exemplary statesman. Many believe this move is one that should set an example fot several African leaders who will be up for re-election this year.But the fact is that GEJ is not the first African leader to do this. According to Reuters, other African leaders had indeed done this before. Here is a list.
Senegal’s former President Abdoulaye Wade in 2012 became the first West African leader in a while to concede defeat when he was thumped by former protege Macky Sall, enabling Sall to proclaim that “the big winner…is the Senegalese people”.
In Southern Africa too, the time has come where a “big man” was told by voters he was no longer popular – and has had to accept their verdict.
Ex-Malawian president Bakili Muluzi, who observed Nigeria’s elections for the Commonwealth, ran against dictator Hastings Banda in 1994 and succeeded in ending his 33-year-rule.
“He was unhappy. He said to me ‘You are like my son and now you are running against me,'” he told Reuters outside a polling station on Saturday. “But he couldn’t do anything about it.”
Zambia’s Rupiah Banda drew more than a few tears when, on losing his presidency to Michael Sata in 2011, he told the nation: “I have no ill feeling in my heart”.
“I wish him well in his years as president,” he continued. “Now is the time for a new leader. My time is done. It is time for me to say good bye.”