Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday urged politicians to emulate the Late Dr Nelson Mandela’s politics of humility, peace and reconciliation as against that of bitterness and character assassination.
Jonathan made this call at a Memorial Service in Honour of Mandela, former President of South Africa, held at the Aso Rock Chapel, Abuja.
He said Mandela was filled with humility, spirit of forgiveness and the ability to unite people.
"This is in contrast with the utterances of Nigerian politicians who speak as if Nigeria is their bedroom from where they make unguarded utterances and intimidate others", he said.
He stressed that politicians had been threatening, boasting and attempting to play little gods by virtue of their positions. "They are no more than tiny men."
According to him, with such attitude, it will be easier for the camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a politician to achieve greatness.
The President decried the attitude of such politicians bent on over heating the polity.
He harped on the need for all politicians to always exhibit the virtues of leadership that Mandela worked for and exhibited.
Jonathan said government declared three days mourning for Mandela because Nigeria played key role in South African anti-apartheid liberation struggle and to remind everyone of their links with fellow Africans
He, therefore, called on all Nigerians to pray for the repose of the soul of Mandela.
Senate President David Mark enjoined Africans to fight for economic independence and democracy.
He said Mandela lived and died for Africa.
He added that with Mandela’s popularity, he would have achieved a united Africa.
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, stressed the need to remember those who fought with Mandela.
He urged African leaders to continue to fight social and institutional injustices across the continent as a way of paying tribute to Mandela.
The South African Ambassador to Nigeria, Chris Mamazulu, narrated the history of Mandela during and after the anti-apartheid liberation struggle in South Africa.
He thanked the people and government of Nigeria for their support to his country during the apartheid era.
Mamazulu expressed delight over the ongoing economic partnership between South African businessmen and their Nigerian counterparts.
In his sermon, the preacher, Bishop David Ibiyomi, who spoke on "Attitude of Gratitude", said "100 percent of whatever happens to us is our attitude."