Jonathan Begs Nigerians to forgive His Shortcomings
Outgoing President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan yesterday Sunaday May 17, urged Nigerians to be magnanimous and forgive him of all his transgressions. He pleaded with all who he may have offended in the course of discharging his duties as president to forgive him his shortcomings as they were not intentional or deliberate.
The President and his wife spoke during a thanksgiving church service to mark their last worship as the first family at the Aso Villa Chapel and to formally hand over the chapel to the vice president-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who would take over the reins of the Villa Chapel.
Although Osinbajo who was invited to the handing over service was conspicuously absent, He, however, sent a delegate to represent him at the event.
President Jonathan in his address to the congregation, described his transition from vice-president to the president as complicated and also remarked that no system was perfect. Hence, there was no way he wouldn’t have stepped on toes and transgressed against many people.
He said: “So, for the eight years that one has been here, definitely one is not perfect. We have certainly done things that probably we wouldn’t have done that way, but we didn’t do things deliberately.
“So for those who we have offended, it was not deliberate; it was circumstances of the office. So, we also plead that those people should forgive. We think we have done our best. You can do your best and your friends may misunderstand you. Today, we are talking about leaving. It is only God that knows why things go the way they do.
“What we have achieved is through you. Let me specifically thank the chaplain, the clergymen, the pastors and their wives. For the past eight years, we have every reason to be thankful to God. Every individual has his/her own calling. I also believe that people who take over political leadership have their own calling to do specific things.
“The office is quite challenging. Some of you may desire to see us. I believe, as we move forward, things will get better. I don’t really believe that it is only in government that you can do things.
“The richest people in the world don’t even serve in government. Dangote has never been in government. Bill Gates has not been in government. So you don’t need to be in government to be rich. So outside government a lot of things happen.It is for us to be committed and continue to be focused.”
On her part, the first lady, Dame Patience recounted how “the devil struck” her again with ill-health in January, leading to her being flown to a hospital in Germany after attending a campaign rally. She said she had undergone 12 different surgeries.
Mama Peace expressed her gratitude to friends and well-meaning Nigerians who stood by her and her husband throughout their tenure and especially during the campaign and her ailment.
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