Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Jonathan - Half of Our Politicians Have No Business in Politics

Photo: Amanda Voisard/UN
President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has said most politicians in Nigeria are people who have no other job than politics.

He said this at the Aso Villa Chapel in Abuja yesterday during a post-national pilgrimage thanksgiving service attended by his mother Eunice, Ebonyi State Governor Martin Elechi, Kogi State Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi and other top government officials.

The president said more than 50 percent of Nigerian politicians are not supposed to be in politics.

According to Jonathan, most of them went into politics because they could not get other things doing.

He likened politics to trading in which people have to forgive and work with one another, saying any politician who cannot forgive is an impostor.

He said: "More than 50 percent of us who are into politics are not supposed to be politicians. For instance, in the professions of nursing and teaching, people with wicked hearts and unforgiving spirits are not the kind of people who should be nurses or teachers, but we find them there. So, most of us who are in politics are not supposed to be there, but because we have no other thing to do. So, if you see a politician that cannot forgive, he is an impostor."

The president alluded to the Bible, saying in politics, there is no permanent friend or enemy, but permanent interest.

"These days, we learn not to talk or we talk very little. The chaplain accused us, the politicians, that we do not forgive or that some politicians don't forgive. Apparently, the Bible said this, but politicians are the people who forgive.

"Politicians, I would not say much, are those who forgive because in politics; whether local politics or national, the Bible word is that you don't have permanent friends or permanent enemies, but permanent interest.

If somebody is your enemy today, and there is a change of interest, and he becomes your friend; first of all, you have to forgive. Otherwise, you cannot have a friend that you can work with because politics is just like some kind of trade," Jonathan said.

Earlier in his homily, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion Primate Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh said political parties and pressure groups must be disciplined and focused for Nigeria to reach her promise land.

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