Former President Goodluck Jonathan visited The Presidential Precinct in Virginia, USA on November 9, 2015. | Flickr/The Presidential Precinct

Former President Goodluck Jonathan said he was not under any external influence when he conceded defeat in the 2015 general elections to General Muhammadu Buhari.

According to The Nation, Jonathan spoke at the second combined convocation ceremony of Bingham University, Nasarawa State.

The former president and an ex-military head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon were honoured with Doctor of Letters (Honaris Causa) by the university.

Gowon was awarded the degree by the university, in “recognition of his commitment and selflessness to Nigeria, Africa and humanity, while Jonathan was honoured by the Senate of the university in recognition of “his self-abasement and prized patriotic humility and love for peace.”

Jonathan said his calling of Buhari to concede defeat was done out of his personal principle that no blood of any Nigerian was worth his political ambition.

This act, he said, had already started having effects on global politics as world leaders now willingly concede defeats to their opponents when they lose elections.

The former president said: “It is my belief that no one’s political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian and I am fulfilled knowing that my conceding while the votes were still being compiled was borne out of my personal principle and conviction generating positive impact on other nations.

“Let me make it very, very clear, nobody within or outside the country persuaded me to do that. I know it is the right thing to do. My ambition is not worth the blood of Nigerians. It was not just a political slogan.”

Jonathan also said he convened the 2014 national conference to help unite the country and avoid the creation of tension and crisis in the polity, adding that his intention was to usher in “a polity that will bring unity to this country; a polity that will not divide us along tribal, ethnic, and religious line.

“I have seen politicians whose children school and live abroad mobilize children of others as thugs during elections. They don’t care whether they die or not. This is against human dignity. And we should uphold our vows as a nation of great people who love and respect one another.

“I believe in a peaceful Nigeria and since my award today is based on my commitment to peace, I have to spread peaceful message to my fellow graduands and indeed to the entire student body of this university. Because you know with this award today, myself and Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) are also alumnus of this university,” Jonathan said.

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