President Goodluck Jonathan on in Abuja today said half of Nigerian politicians were not meant to be in politics, but got involved in it by accident.
The President who spoke at a post-national pilgrimage church service held at the Presidential Villa’s chapel was responding to a sermon by the Primate of the Anglican Church, Rev. Nicholas Okoh.
The Primate had accused Nigerian politicians of being unforgiving.
The President, while speaking, said one of the basic tenets of the game of politics is forgiveness.
He said this had led to the saying that there is no permanent friend or enemy in politics but permanent interest.
“The Chaplain accused us, the politicians, that we do not forgive, or that some politicians do not forgive. Apparently, the Bible also said this.
“But politicians should be the people who forgive. Politicians are those who forgive, because in politics, whether local politics or national, you don’t have permanent friends or permanent enemies, but permanent interests.
“If somebody is your enemy today and there is a change of interest, he becomes your friend.
“First of all, you have to forgive, otherwise you cannot have a friend that you can work with,” he said.
Jonathan however said the reverse was the case in Nigeria’s political terrain, because half of the politicians got involved by accident and did not learn the right principles of politics.
“Politics is just like some kind of trade. More than 50 per cent of us who are into politics are not supposed to be politicians.
“For example, in the profession of nursing and teaching, people with wicked hearts and unforgiving spirit are not the kind of people who should be nurses or teachers, but we find them there.
“So, most of us who are in politics are not supposed to be there. But because we have no other thing to do, we are there.
“So, if you see a politician than cannot forgive, he is an impostor,” he said.
Okoh had earlier in his sermon commended the President for signing the anti-gay bill into law in spite of the obvious pressure from outside the country.
The law which prescribes 14 years in prison as punishment for culprits, as well as various punitive sanctions for gay activism and acts, was widely criticised by the western world.
Okoh further commended Jonathan for approving the proposed national dialogue.
He said the dialogue was a divine gift and opportunity to address many controversial issues in the country.
Okoh urged all those who would participate in the dialogue to “do away with personal and selfish interests but to speak for their people”.
On the country’s centenary celebrations, he urged all Nigerians to take time to think about their personal contributions to the nation in the last 100 years.
Okoh also urged more Christians to take part in the annual pilgrimage.(NAN)