President Goodluck Jonathan has described himself as the luckiest who has been living on government in the last 16 years.
As he prepares to hand over to the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on May 29, President Jonathan thanked Nigerians for giving him the opportunity to serve as Nigeria’s leader. The President spoke when residents of Abuja, led by Vice President Namadi Sambo, paid him Easter homage at his residence at the Presidential Villa.
On the delegation were the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed; the Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke; the senator representing the FCT, Philip Aduda; and the Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Muktar Shagari, among other dignitaries. Sambo, who led the delegation, thanked the President for his efforts, adding that he had become a better person after working with him for five years.
According to President Jonathan, since he joined politics in 1998 and became Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State in 1999, he has been in the cage where government took care of his needs. On return to democratic rule in 1999, he had served as Deputy Governor, Governor (Bayelsa State), Vice President, Acting President and President.
He told his guests: “For me as an individual, this Easter coincides with the time I am leaving, but I always say that I am one of the luckiest Nigerians. “I am yet to see somebody luckier than me. “From 1999, I was in the hands of government for 16 years. “Not just in government as a parliamentarian, because if you are a senator or House of Representatives member, you take care of yourself, you live in your own house.
“I was in a cage, being taken care of by the government. “From May 29, 1999 to date, 16 good years, I think it is enough and I am happy. “Help me to thank God for that. “I will continue to thank Nigerians for giving me that privilege. “I became deputy governor because Bayelsans voted for me and my governor then. “I became a Vice President because Nigerians voted for (late President Umaru) Yar’Adua and myself. :I continued in 2011 because Nigerians voted for me and Architect Namadi Sambo. “I have to thank all Nigerians. “Wherever I will be, I will remain grateful to this great country. “Today is a glorious day for me.” President Jonathan also used the occasion to counsel on the need for all Nigerians to be patriotic and to always be ready to make sacrifices.