Past Nigerian leaders cannot be compared to Mandela - President Goodluck Jonathan
He also described Nigerian politicians who threaten, boast and play little gods by virtue of their position as tiny men, a character trait he said is contrary to the exemplary leadership Mr. Mandela exhibited and lived for.
Speaking at a memorial service in honour of late Mandela at the Aso Rock Chapel in Abuja on Sunday, Mr. Jonathan said contrary to Mr. Mandela who was filled with humility, forgiving spirit and the ability to unite and reunite people, past Nigerian rulers played repressive roles during their reigns.
According to him “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”.
Although he did not mention names, Mr. Jonathan berated top Nigerian politicians who speak “as if Nigeria is their bedroom” from where they make proclamation and intimidate others.
He added that some of them even demonstrated hatred in their speeches.
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 camel to pass through the eyes of a needle than for a politician to achieve greatness”.
He eulogised the late Mr. Mandela’s selfless virtues adding that today all those who fought him and called him terrorists were now singing his praises.
“For anybody that will make changes, don’t expect praises, they will call you names but the end matters much,” he said.
The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Louis Mnguni, in his tribute said Mr. Mandela was indeed selfless as even though he could have made money for himself as a lawyer, he chose to remain and die as a combatant.
Mr. Mnguni also appreciated Nigeria for all the support it has always rendered for his country stating that “despite it’s own numerous challenges, Nigeria has not taken its eyes off South Africa.