President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said he did not expect Nigerians to shower praises on him while still in office.
He said it was normal that public office holders would only be commended after leaving office by the time their achievements were compared with those of their predecessors.
Jonathan spoke while granting audience to a delegation from his home state, Bayelsa, led by Governor Seriake Dickson.
But the President’s wife, Patience, was again absent during the visit of the Bayelsa delegation.
Jonathan, however, told members of the delegation that his wife would have joined him to receive them but for an urgent trip she made outside Abuja.
He said Patience left Abuja in the morning for their home state to oversee the preparation for the traditional marriage of his cousin’s daughter holding in Bayelsa State on Saturday.
He said he would also be travelling for the event on Friday and return to Abuja on Sunday.
Members of the delegation led by Dickson were in the Presidential Villa, Abuja to felicitate with the President on the Christmas and New Year festivities.
The President said notwithstanding the various challenges facing the country, he would do his best to make his people proud.
He said, “I always say that I will not even expect praises now because hardly do people praise serving leaders, it is when you leave. When you leave, people will begin to compare what you have done over the period vis-a-vis what others have done.
“Probably that is the time some people will begin to say good things about you. But I will do my best to make sure that we do change things. We are trying to create an 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.”
Jonathan observed that it had become the norm worldwide for people to lambast their leaders, especially on the social media.
He regretted that people were using different things that had been created by people’s knowledge for negative purposes.
He cited an example of dynamite, saying the inventor regretted when he realised the destructive purposes people have turned the item to.
The President added, “These days, there are all kind 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 the 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.
“What is supposed to be used for the common good was turned to negative purposes.”
Jonathan reiterated his position that 2015 would be a challenging year for the country because of the general elections.
“The new year is full of challenges for Nigerians because of the early elections. Everywhere will be hot from January 2,” he declared.
Earlier, Dickson had told the President on behalf of the delegation that the people of the state were proud of his service to the nation.
The governor added that the purpose of the visit was to show the world that they were with Jonathan in actions and in prayers.
Dickson said, “We are proud of your service. We are here to show solidarity and to let everybody know that your people are always with you in deed and in prayers.
“It is in the spirit of Christmas that we are here on behalf of the people of the state to wish you, your family and government compliments of the season and wish you victorious 2015.
“We bring you prayers and message of solidarity. We thank all Nigerians for the support and prayers they have been giving you.
“We are proud of the service you are giving to our country and we appreciate your transformation agenda.”