Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has called on Nigerians to resist the ‘pull of ego that may make the people want to purse a regional or narrow agenda’.
Dr. Jonathan made the comments while delivering a lecture titled ‘Diversity as Our Bridge to Tomorrow’ at the annual Gala dinner of Nigerian Lawyers Association in the USA.
The former President while delivering his lecture said he never placed ethnic sentiments above his choice of appointments during his tenure and urged Nigerians to eschew ethnic and religious bigotry.
“Nigeria is for all Nigerians. We must resist the pull of ego that may make us want to purse a regional or narrow agenda.
“Most of my principal aides in government hailed from different ethnic nationalities
“We never placed ethno-religious interests above merits or individual values when making decisions”.
Jonathan also informed the audience that during his tenure, he ensured freedom of speech was respected and did not jail anyone for speaking or writing anything about him.
“No matter what my critic said about me, I ensured that there was both freedom of speech and freedom after the speech.
“Under my watch not a single Nigerian was sent to prison because of anything they wrote or said about me or the Administration that I headed.” Nigeria had neither political prisoner nor political exile under my administration. We enacted freedom of information Act and by that we tore the veil of secrecy covering governance.
We gave institutions unlimited freedom and ensured that the NBA, other professional institutions were devoid of any governmental influence. We ensured that appointments to INEC were not based on personal relationships.