This Day (Lagos)

20 January 2014

Nigeria: Jonathan - Nigerian Politicians Are Jobless

Photo: Amanda Voisard/UN
President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan Sunday submitted that 50 per cent of Nigerian politicians are not supposed to be in politics, but are into it because they have no other things to do. The president spoke during the church service at Aso Villa Chapel.

He equally tagged politicians that have no forgiving spirit as impostor. "But politics is just like some kind of trade. More than 50 per cent of us who are into politics are not supposed to be politicians. For example, in the profession of nursing and teaching, if people with wicked heart and unforgiving spirit 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 than cannot forgive, he is an impostor," Jonathan said. According to the president, except one imbibes the spirit of forgiveness, it would be difficult to find a friend to work with.

"These days, we learn not to talk, or we talk very little. The chaplain accused us politicians that we do not forgive, or that some politicians don't forgive. Apparently, the bible said this, that 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 A becomes your friend first of all you have to forgive otherwise you cannot have a friend that you cannot work with" the president said.

Primate of Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, who delivered a sermon titled: "Forget not all His benefits," said Jonathan did a commendable thing for signing anti-gay bill into law.

"Congratulations for the great steps you have taken in doing the will of the people by signing the law against same sex marriage.

"This is democracy in action. It would have been very bad if you had listen to the voices of outsiders against your people, you did the right thing and we will continue to pray for you," Okoh said. Reading from Psalm 116:12, the clergy said there was nothing as good as showing gratitude to God. "We give thanks for provision, for life because if you remember countries experiencing draught, you would realised that God has fed us."

Meanwhile, the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has said the northern elders' statement threatening to drag him before the International Criminal Court (ICC), for alleged extra-judicial killings, was ill-conceived.

Ihejirika, who fielded questions from journalists, shortly after the church service at Aso Villa Chapel, said: "My reactions to that is that their statement is ill-conceived, perhaps based on some misinformation.

"The northern elders should be thanking the service chiefs, my officers and myself for making huge sacrifices, first to see that Nigeria is saved and the North in particular since they are the first beneficiaries of the sacrifices being made.

"There is no senatorial zone in this country that has not lost a personnel in the armed forces. It is unfortunate that the same elders, if they are really elders, have not cared to send a single condolence message to the military.

"I think that their statement is discouraging and it impacts negatively on the counter-terrorist efforts because as we speak, they are soldiers that have not had a meal since yesterday because of the peculiarity of where they are at the moment."

On the fight against insecurity during his tenure, the former COAS said very soon, Nigerians would be happy because quite a number of structures had been put in place to put an end to insecurity. He noted that with some equipment and training that were carried out in recent days, there would be little or no hiding place for the insurgents.

Asked on what to do next since he lost his position, Ihejirika said: "The immediate thing to have a small vacation with my family and thereafter we can then think of what next."

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InFocus

Half of Nigerian Politicians 'Unforgiving' - President

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has stated that about half of Nigerian politicians were not meant to be in politics, but only became politicians because they were unemployed. Read more »