Why I wrote a book on rise and fall of Jonathan: Ex-minister Abdullahi

Abdullahi speaking at the event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

A minister of Youths and Sports under former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Bolaji Abdullahi, has called on government to make history a compulsory subject in nation’s educational curriculum so that the younger generation will be abreast of the past.

Abdullahi who was also a journalist and author of the popular book:’On A Platter Of Gold-How Jonathan Won And Lost Nigeria’ and ‘Sweet Sixteen’, a book adopted by JAMB for the 2019-2020 UTME, made the advocacy in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Abdullahi was in Port Harcourt for the review of his book ‘On A Platter Of Gold- How Jonathan Won And Lost Nigeria’ as part of the events marking the launching of a novel project tagged, Education Champions League, ECL, for secondary school students in Rivers State which involved intellectual contest to stimulate reading and writing culture among youths.

The former Minister Bolaji Abdullahi while commending the organizers of the event threw light on what inspired him to write the book.

The book now serves as a document of history that highlights the inner political intrigues, complications and complexities that played out during the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s (a minority Ijaw man from Ogbia in Bayelsa State) meteorically rise to highest office in Nigeria as President and his eventual loss of the coveted office.

Among other things, Abdullahi said he was inspired to write the book because while he was a Minister he saw every event that played out from the point of view of a journalist and a technocrat and not a typical Nigerian politician and the irresistible urge to put pen on paper to document what he saw in Nigerian power play.

“I saw everything in government from a news angle, but soon realized that I couldn’t report all that I saw in government. I saw myself mainly as a journalist and technocrat not a politician and realized that I was excluding myself from the mainstream but the Journalistic instinct in me took a better part so the book came forth”.

While answering some questions arising from the review of his book and the person of his former boss, Jonathan, he said “Former President Jonathan meant every word he says whenever he says that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. He wasn’t a desperate, typical Nigerian politician and he does all he can to defend his friends”.

He further noted that till date, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is still arguing that it won the election, but Jonathan lost Nigeria: “Some party members point out that Jonathan was too quick to concede defeat to APC and President Muhammadu Buhari. But that action phone call conceding defeat has made Jonathan a national and international hero”.

Former minister Bolaji Abdullahi speaks on his book, 'On A Platter Of Gold - How Jonathan Won And Lost Nigeria' at an event in Port Harcourt
Dignitaries at the event

Abdullahi who said he was elated that the review of his book was part of the programme aptly tagged “August Meeting” by the organizers as part of the launch of the Port Harcourt Education Champions added that the idea to stimulate the Culture of reading and writing among the younger generation is noble and should be encouraged.

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He regretted that some of young Nigerians wallow in ignorance even about their immediate environment despite the internet age because there are no more intentional reading and writing.

Kingsley Wenenda Wali, the Convener and the arrowhead of the programme explained that the idea behind the Education Champions League is to promote literacy and intellectual engagement in Rivers State other than politics and political bickering.

He said, “A society that doesn’t read dwells in ignorance, and ignorance is a very dangerous tool”.

Wali, a legal practitioner further explained that the ECL, an Incorporated Trustee dedicated to fostering intellectual growth and community enrichment has announced that depending on the educational calendar of the state, the competition will start in April or May for school in first instance for Secondary schools in Port Harcourt for logistic reasons.

Wali announced that the first prize winner will take home a total of N10 million with 50 percent of the money going to the winner, 25 percent to the school and 25 percent to furnish the School library.

He also announced that the organizers have secured sponsors for the initiative for the next three years.

He said the sponsors have keyed into noble initiative designed to boost literacy, intellectual competitive spirit among the younger generation.

The Book Reviewer, Tombari Robinson Sibe, commended the author for the indepth and incisive Chronicling of inner workings in the Jonathan’s rise to presidency and his eventual defeat.

On his part, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who chaired the occasion and former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime, Administration Maritime and Safety Agency, NIMASA, commended organisers of the event and their plan to kickstart the Education Champions League.

He also extolled the former Minister whom he referred to as, “one of the analytical Journalists and Writers of Nigerian print media for finding time to honour the event, (despite the Ramadan fast), and his courageous efforts in writing a book that gives insights into the power play that led to the Jonathan’s emergence to power and his eventual loss

Other highlights were the official launch of the ECL, review of selected Chapters of the book by some invited secondary school students, unveiling of books written by two Journalists: Chioma Ezenwafor ‘Becoming A New Titan and ‘A Thousand Times On The Same Road’ written by China Achero both of who are Staff of Nigeria infofm Radio, Port Harcourt.

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