Nigeria’s President, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan has derided past leaders before him as ruling the country ruthlessly and thus cannot be equated with former South African President, Nelson Mandela who died three days ago. He berated them as leaders who acted like demi gods while they held sway, whereas they are little men, a character which he noted was not seen in Mandela.
He made this statement on Sunday at the memorial service held in the Aso Rock Chapel in Abuja in honor of Mandela, whom he described as a man filled with the heart of forgiveness and extraordinary ability to unite his country.
Jonathan noted that “great names as we hear today in Nigeria are not enough” as the same names played repressive roles and ruled repressively during their days as rulers in this country”. He stated that they acted “as if Nigeria is their bedroom”, with some of them using hateful words in their speeches, without mentioning their names.
He noted that even when he listens to some “politicians older than me, I come to the conclusion that it is truly difficult for a carmel to pass through the eyes of a needle than for a politician to achieve greatness”. He praised Mandela as a man who liberated Africa from the shackles of apartheid, adding that those who once called him terrorists are now all praising him
“For anybody that will make changes, don’t expect praises, they will call you names but the end matters much,” he said.
The Senate President who also paid glowing tribute stated that if the campaign for a United Africa had been championed by Mr. Mandela instead of the late Libyan Leader, Muammar Gaddafi, it would have succeeded. He emphasized that Mandela transcended South Africa to Africa as a continent as he did not only live and die for South Africa, but he also led in the struggle for Africa to become democratically independent.