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President Jonathan pleads with Nigerians, ‘forgive my imperfections in office from 2007’

President Goodluck Jonathan has apologised to the Nigerians he might have offended in the course of discharging his duties at the presidential villa, saying he reckons he has done things he shouldn’t have done.

President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan

Speaking at the Aso Villa chapel during his last service as the number one citizen of the country, Jonathan said no one is perfect and that he never took any decision with the intention to deliberately offend anyone. Jonathan got to Aso Rock as vice-president in 2007 and became the president after the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010.

“For the eight years that one has been there, 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,” he said.

“For those whom we have offended, it was not deliberate; it was circumstances of the office. 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.

“Ordinarily, May 24 would have been the last service here. But on that date we will all go to the National Christian Centre for the inauguration service.

“So for me and my wife, this is our last day of worship here. Though we are leaving as president and first lady, but we have not left you, because we are still in this country, we will continue to interact, one way or the other. He promised to continue doing more meaningful things for the general progress of the country even after leaving office. Jonathan acknowledged that the office of the president was quite challenging but expressed optimism that things would continue to get better as the nation moves forward.

“The office is quite challenging but I believe as we move forward, things will get better,” he said.

“I don’t really believe that it is only in government that you can do thing, even outside government you do a lot of things.

“The richest people in the world don’t even serve in government. Dangote has never been in government, so you don’t need to be in government to be rich. Bill Gates has not been in government. So outside government a lot of things happen, it is for us to be committed and continue to be focus.

“I and my wife really love all of you.” Jonathan’s wife, his mother, some other family members and aides of the outgoing president attended the farewell service.