Former President Goodluck Jonathan says it was the founder of DAAR Communications, late Chief Raymond Dokpesi, that encouraged him after he lost the presidential election in 2015.
Jonathan said when many of his allies deserted him after he lost to former President Muhammadu Buhari, it was Dokpesi that stood by him.
He said the founder of AIT and Ray Power FM hosted him to a feast and told him there was life after defeat.
The ex-President said this at the Night of Tributes organised by the deceased family on Monday.
He said, “I was in a dilemma after I lost the election where some of the people you think instead of you to die, they will prefer to take the bullet for you but surprisingly, they even forgot your name when you lose the election.
“To my surprise I was told that Dokpesi would host me for an event. I was surprised that how will he do that for a person that lost election. He was the first person that made me believe that there could still be life after losing an election.
“Initially I was skeptical, but I said let us go. I thought it was going to be a small gathering of his friends and family but the place was filled up. So the words of encouragement from Dokpesi and all the other people that spoke gave me that energy to do what I am doing today.”
He added that Dokpesi’s doggedness led Nigeria to host the U-17 World Cup after former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua rejected the idea of Nigeria spending huge amount on the competition.
“Nigeria was to host the World Cup and, of course, we love soccer very much. When the memo got to the president, he was not too comfortable with the financial involvement and so on. So, he felt we can’t spend such kind of money and turned it down.
“Fortunately, Dokpesi came to my house as the vice president and made his presentation to me that convinced me that Nigeria can host the Cup. The following morning, I went to take it up with the president and he agreed that we should host it. So if not for the person, we would not have host it.”