Jonathan averted evil by conceding defeat-Fashola

Outgoing governor of Lagos State Raji Fashola (SAN)in an interview with select media houses gave his opinion on president Jonathan conceding defeat .

I won’t join the debate because it is a raging debate; some say he is now a statesman, some say he is now a hero, others say he is not a hero as he did what he was expected to do. I will just say that first you must understand what we have become. All of us are looking at an election. Do we normally, as a people, accept that we have been defeated? Let us ask ourselves that question. Let me animate it a little: can you remember how many times in football that we lost – we can’t qualify – and some people will still be saying ‘no, if somebody beats somebody by 20-0, we will qualify?’
And they will continue to raise hope where, clearly, hope is gone. Logic says to you ‘this is over.’ That is us. We don’t accept that it is over. It can be a positive energy somewhere else, to fight to the last. But in that context, I think we should acknowledge what President Jonathan did as the right thing. If you lose, you should concede that you have lost.

I won’t join the debate on whether he is a hero or a statesman, people will have their views. But was that the right thing to do? Yes. And I hope that from there we can pick an example. Was it courageous? I would think so in the circumstance that I have created. He had to go and tell a party that wanted to rule for 60 years that we have lost and I have accepted it. There is a saying that while it seems ordinary to praise people for doing what is right or what is good, we must understand that it is not just for doing what is right or good that they got the praise or acknowledgement. It is because they avoided evil. And the kind of evil we could have seen is unfolding in Burundi now. The question is to ask the many ifs; ‘what if he (Jonathan) had said,’ no?’ That is my final word.

What are the things you are going to miss the most when you leave office?

I cannot think of missing anything. This is a public trust; it has a beginning and an end. And it finishes when it is finished. My life did not change when I took this job; not in any way that I know. My food has not changed; my clothing has not changed. Perhaps, the only thing I had to do more was travel, and now I will travel less. This is not something to miss; this is something to say that you have done your bit, get off the stage and let the next manager take over.

Does it mean you are going to be relieved after leaving?

I will not use the word relief. I will just be done.

Are you leaving a fulfilled man?

Yes, to the extent that I was able to deliver substantially on everything I promised, and more. I have done my bit. You must contextualise fulfilment with the nature of the undertaking. It is an undertaking that never ends; it is a job that never finishes. The question is ‘did you add value?’ Yes. ‘Did you make an effort?’ Yes.

Culled from Punch

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Jonathan averted evil by conceding defeat-Fashola
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