President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday lampooned Nigerian political class, stressing that most of them lack the qualities of just departed icon, Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
“If you listen to those of us who are politicians in Nigeria from all political parties… the way we talk, some of us (behave) as if Nigeria is their personal bedroom, that they have control over…some of us even see ourselves as if we are tiny gods.
“We intimidate, we threaten, we show hate in our communication. These are not the virtues of great men. They are certainly the vices of tiny men”, the President said at a memorial service in honour of the late former South African President at the Aso Rock Chapel, Abuja.
Jonathan who said he never met Mandela described Mandela popularly referred to as Madida by his people as “a rare character that those of us who are politicians need to learn from so that we will imbibe some of his traits and do better for our country”.
Jonathan urged politicians to emulate the late Mandela’s politics of humility, peace and reconciliation as against that of bitterness and character assassination.
He said Mandela was filled with humility, spirit of forgiveness and the ability to unite people.
“This is in contrast with the utterances of Nigerian politicians who speak as if Nigeria is their bedroom from where they make unguarded utterances and intimidate others,” he said.
The President stressed that politicians had been threatening, boasting and attempting to play little gods by virtue of their positions, adding, “They are no more than tiny men.’’
According to him, with such attitude, it will be easier for the camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a politician to achieve greatness.
Jonathan decried the attitude of such politicians bent on over heating the polity.
He harped on the need for all politicians to always exhibit the virtues of leadership that Mandela worked for and exhibited.
Jonathan said government declared three days mourning for Mandela because Nigeria played a key role in South African anti-apartheid liberation struggle and to remind everyone of their links with fellow Africans.
Read more at Daily Independent