Former Nigeria president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by a former Minister of State for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye at the Vanguard Awards last night apologised for Jonathan’s inability to be present for the award.
Adeyeye said “he is unable to come and personally receive this award because as many of you may know, today is the burial of Dr Alamiyeseigha, the former governor of Baylesa State, who was at one time, his boss.
Therefore, he sent his unreserved apology particularly to Uncle Sam and to the management of Vanguard newspapers.”
Speaking further, he said:
“He has asked to me also congratulate his fellow recipients particularly President Muhammadu Buhari and other recipients.
President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan is a man of history and I believe that whatever we are celebrating now, is not the final verdict, we will leave that to history because all these emotional things that we display, when a man is in office or after leaving office, are better judged by history.
I believe Jonathan will be given a better verdict by history.
“He says I should tell everybody that he is not yet finished with his good works in Nigeria, he has left office but he is not tired and therefore, he said I should announce to this audience that very soon, he will be launching his foundation.
That foundation will enable him render services, not only to the people of Nigeria but to humanity. His view concerning this award, to those who are his friends on Facebook, he has a message.”
Reading Jonathan’s Facebook message, he said “I thank the editorial board of Vanguard newspapers for honoring me as their Personality of the Year 2015. I believe that the people of Nigeria are more deserving of the honour than me. I am thus dedicating this award to my country men and women, may God bless Nigeria.”
National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Aiswaju Bola Tinubu, represented by Mr Dele Alake expressed gratitude for the award bestowed on him but expressed optimism that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
His words: “first of all, I must express my gratitude to Vanguard for choosing to recognise him for this award. He has asked me to express apologies and extend all courtesies to those who deserved them, for his inability to be physical present here for circumstances beyond his control because he is not in Nigeria at the moment.
He actually sent a message to me saying that he knew that he should be here as a member of the Vanguard family and as an associate of Uncle Sam himself, who is one of our icons in the journalism profession.”
Alake, a former Commissioner for Information in Lagos State, said Tinubu saw the award as a challenge for him.
Jonathan, a national hero–Amuka
Chairman of Vanguard Media Limited, Mr. Sam Amuka commended President Jonathan for conceding the 2015 presidential election describing him a national hero.
Amuka said “This is an interesting occasion. This award is special in the sense that it represents one singular action which has changed a man’s state.
Whatever one may say of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, that moment during the elections, when he decided to call President Buhari and congratulate him conceding defeat, made him a national hero.”
Recalling the tension that preceded the 2015 general elections, Amuka commended Jonathan for helping to avert crisis.
He said: “Many of us would have forgotten the tension that this country was in during the elections, we have also forgotten the bitterness of the election but before the election itself, this country was almost in turmoil.
A slight fight could have ignited fire and blood-letting but for many of us, it was divine intervention that caused President Goodluck Jonathan to do what he did and that is what we are recognizing here tonight for a man who deserves to be acknowledged by Nigerians as a national hero. That has made him a statesman.”