Nigerian election surprise: Will Ethiopians heed the lessons?

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)
Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)

Surprise results in Nigerian elections unprecedented in Africa as president concedes victory to opposition


April 4, 2015

Ethiopians, along with Africans all over the continent, are stunned! Out of 55 countries in Africa over the last 65 years, only five incumbent African leaders, according to one report, have ever conceded victory to a political opponent. That is why it took so many people by surprise this past week when Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who has been in office since 2010, conceded the 2015 election to the former Army General Mohammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

We in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) both salute and congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan for making a decision unique to the continent of Africa. In fact, the election board had not even announced the results when President Jonathan called President-elect Buhari to graciously concede his own defeat and to congratulate Buhari on his win.

In an official statement to the public, President Jonathan said, “As I have always affirmed, nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian. The unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else.”

Jonathan’s extraordinary statement that personal ambition is not worth the bloodshed of any Nigerian is all the more incredible on a continent where power struggles have led to the loss of countless African lives, as power holders claim electoral victory despite the actual results—year after year after year. African elections are known for the bloodshed of the people and the brutal suppression of any who challenge them. This has been a nearly unprecedented move among many African countries like Ethiopia where their regime strongmen see democracy as simply a slippery word to grandly toss around in public while privately undermining any political space for their opponents……..

Click below to read the full statement