President Goodluck Jonathan has told ministers and aides serving under him to brace up for hard times.
Jonathan, who spoke during a thanksgiving and farewell service held in his honour at the Cathedral Church of Advent, Gwarinpa, Life Camp Abuja, informed the congregation that his decision to concede victory and allow peace to reign in Nigeria after the presidential election in April was not welcome by some people, who even pretend to be loyal to him. He said his aides and ministers must therefore be ready for persecution.
“When I look at the whole picture of my life, and I said if soldiers and police officers, who had not received point five percent of the benefits I had received can lay their lives to save this country. I should do anything in the interest of Nigeria including paying the supreme price,” he said.
“Some hard decisions have their own cost, no doubt about that, that I have run the country in this way, passing through electoral system that has brought stability to this country. It is very costly decision that I must be ready to pay for it.
“Then, I know that worse treatment will come, if you take certain decision, even the people, who are very close to you will abandon you at some points. I used to tell people that more of my so called friends will disappear.
“So, is the same thing with decision you take, it may be good to the generality, but it will affect people differently.
“And for the ministers and aides that serve with me, I sympathize with them, because they will be persecuted and they must be ready for that persecution.
“I always remember some thing from late Tai Solarin, he said; ‘I wish you what I wish myself every year, may you have hard times this year, may your ways be rough’. I wish my ministers what I wish myself, they will have the hard times, may our ways will be rough.
“But we are happy that the country appreciate this, the ordinary people appreciate this decision and that is most important thing, it is not what the elites or the privileged few talk about – your action and inaction.”
The president prayed for the stability of the country and growth of its economy, so much that its people will benefit, irrespective of who is the leader.
In his remarks, the Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh described President Jonathan as, “a man who wants the peace of the country. Everybody has his own weakness, but definitely, he meant well for Nigeria and he did his best under the circumstance he found himself.”