On a Platter of Gold, a book that gives definitive account of the Goodluck Jonathan presidency will be presented in November 2017.
Written by Bolaji Abdullahi, the national publicity of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former minister in the Jonathan cabinet, the book gives detailed and largely exclusive account of the making and the unmaking of the Jonathan presidency, revealing for the first time, some of the intrigues that surrounded the 2015 presidential election and its aftermath.
The book, which has the subtitle, “How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria” is introduced as follows:
“Was Goodluck Jonathan weak and clueless, as his traducers have claimed? Or – as his supporters have alleged – was he just a victim of vicious conspiracies by an entitled cabal that would stop at nothing to bring down this ‘intruder’ to power?
“From an unknown university teacher, Goodluck Jonathan rose to become President of Africa’s largest democracy, in less than a decade – most astonishingly, without winning a single vote in his name. In contesting the 2011 presidential election, he declared that growing up as the son of a fisherman in the creeks of Nigeria’s Niger Delta, he had no shoes. This message resonated with millions of Nigerians.
“If I can make it, then you can as well,” he had declared. He went on to win with the highest majority vote ever recorded in the nation’s history. Four years later, President Jonathan had suffered a great reversal of fortunes; his magical ascendancy halted by a shocking electoral defeat. When he conceded to the winner, he was roundly celebrated as Nigeria’s hero of democracy. Not everyone agreed. But what really happened?”
Asked why he wrote the book, Abdullahi said: “I believe that journalists who find themselves in government owe it as a duty to the profession to tell a good story afterwards.”
A former columnist and editor with Thisday newspaper, Abdullahi brought his perceptive power as a skilful analyst to bear, producing a great work of free-flowing prose. Even though he was himself involved in many of the events that make up the book, he has managed to keep himself out the story; thereby demonstrating a rare fidelity to objectivity and balance in a way that only a thoroughbred journalist can do.
As a former Minister in Jonathan’s cabinet, Abdullahi had easy access to the major characters in the story, his former colleagues actually. Using this to great advantage, he has produced what may be considered a seminal book not only on the Jonathan administration but also on the contemporary history of Nigerian politics.
Azu Ishiekwene, the MD/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview and Board Member of the Global Editors Network, describes the book as ‘’a rare three-dimensional view” of the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, which he says combines the insights of an insider with the penetrating curiosity of a notable journalist. “You can’t start reading the book and not want to finish it,‘’ he declares.
The Rhodes Professor of Race Relations at Oxford University, Wale Adebanwi said this about the book:
“On a Platter of Gold is an insightful, intricate, part exhilarating, part depressing but undoubtedly illuminating narrative of Nigeria’s unending democratic possibilities and endless frustrations. This book again emphasises how the various factions of the Nigerian political elite are gifted in the art of the capture and re-capture of power but largely vacuous in the art of building and sustaining a good society. In Abdullahi’s fascinating account, we encounter absorbing details of the politics of the (im)possible, the absurdities of an untameable appetite for power, the vanities of privilege, prestige and personal glory and the selective outrage regarding some fundamental national crises which members of a faction of the elite used in propelling themselves to power.’’
The book, which is slated for release in October, will be presented in November in Abuja at an event that promises to be one of the largest gathering of politicians and political actors in 2017.