President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said he will continue to do his best in solving Nigeria’s challenges, but said he does not expect praise while still in office.
Jonathan said he understands that his current actions and achievements will only be justified and applauded after he had left power.
Jonathan stated this at the presidential villa when a delegation of traditional rulers and leaders from Bayelsa State visited him.
The group, led by Governor Seriake Dickson, said its mission was to show solidarity with the president ahead of the 2015 election.
Amongst the notable personalities on the team were the Amayanabo of Twon-Brass, Alfred Diete-Spiff, Bayelsa State Chief Judge, the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, and the former Managing Director of NDCC, Timi Alaiyibe.
Jonathan said the constant criticism of his government do not come as a surprise to him, adding that he is aware that if he performs poorly, the people of Bayelsa would be embarrassed, therefore he must work hard to perform well to build a better Nigeria for Nigerians.
”The new year is full of challenges for Nigerians because of the early elections. Everywhere will be hot from January 2nd,” the president said.
“I assure you that I am here by the grace of God with the willingness of Nigerians. If Nigerians say I shouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t have been here. We contested election in 2011 and Nigerians voted for us.
“I am your own, if I don’t do well, the shame will be on you. If I do well, you will have some kind of pride. I will do my best,” he said.
The president expressed concern over how Nigerians criticise him and his government using the social media.
“These days, there are all kinds of stories. It is all over the world, leaders are being lambasted, especially with the social media now.
“People use what knowledge had created for negative reasons. Just as I was told that the person who invented dynamite regretted that invention because he thought he was coming up with something to solve human problem, but when he got to know about the level of destruction: human lives that are being blown up because of explosion, the man regretted that invention,” he said.
“What is supposed to be used for the common good was turned to negative purposes. I always say that I will not even expect praises now because hardly do people praise serving leaders. It is when you leave, people will begin to know.
“When you leave, people will begin to compare what you have done over the period vis-a-vis what others have done, then they will compare you with whoever takes over.
“Probably that is the time some people will begin to say good about you. But I will do my best to make sure that we do change things.
“We are trying to create enabling environment for our economy to thrive irrespective of the challenges we are having in the petroleum sector and the security challenges we have.
“I will do my best so that by the time I will leave, you will be able to say that when our son was there, he served the country well so that one day, another son of Bayelsa may be given another opportunity to serve Nigerians,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Bayelsa State Governor, Dickson, said they were in the State House to felicitate and wish President Jonathan and his family a victorious new year.
He said the president’s home state was peaceful and was in safe hands and assured the president that the Bayelsa people support him.
Dickson praised the president for his transformation agenda saying it was impacting positively on Nigerians.