The Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, said that the excessive praise of incumbent presidents made them believe that they are little gods and that it is unthinkable for them to leave the office.
Goodluck Jonathan made the statement on Thursday, October 3, at the constitutional summit in Niamey, Republic of Niger. The ex-president, who is one of the speakers at the summit organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), also said that the fear of persecution after the performance of his duties made it difficult for the current president to relinquish power.
“Let’s create an environment in which people will believe that there will be a life after power. That if you leave your post, you shouldn’t be persecuted. The way we manage as presidents and former presidents is important. The first step is to break this fear that will make a sitting president afraid to leave the office.”
“Africans are sometimes their problem because we always think our presidents are little gods. Just because someone is president doesn’t mean they’re a god. We have a tradition of singing and praising. We tend to give our presidents the name they don’t deserve.”
“We tend to overpraise the presidents in office and make them think they are little gods. When we make a sitting president think that he is ‘god’ and that he is the only one who can direct the affairs of the nation, then the person will be there; no one takes away god.”
“When you make a president feel like a god, don’t expect him to leave. The media and civil society must continue to warn those who make presidents believe they are the best. Just because you’re president doesn’t mean you’re better than the others. We, the citizens of this continent, create small gods, and god cannot leave power.”