The immediate past President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, Friday, said he had been worried about the kind of reception he would receive in his home state, Bayelsa.
Speaking at a civic reception in his honour, in Yenagoa, Mr. Jonathan said he would dedicate the remaining part of his life to peace building across the country.
“I thank all of you here and my brothers and sisters outside who cannot come in because of the size of the hall,” Mr. Jonathan told a capacity crowd at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre.
“Sometimes when you are exposed to some high offices and you finish serving, you are even afraid of going back home. Because in one way or the other you will feel that you did not satisfy the people.
“Sometimes at the late hour it dawns on you that you could have done that, you could have done that, you failed to do this you, failed to do that.
“Sometimes you begin to fear whether the people that came to receive you, will they curse you, will they hoot at you?”
Mr. Jonathan said he had wanted to come back to a private visit but the state governor insisted it must be a celebration.
“I really don’t have anything to say. The only thing I can do is to thank all Bayelsans, all Ijaw people, all people from the South South, and indeed all Nigerians for giving me the privilege,” he said.
“Sometimes when I step back, I used to say that probably if I had stayed back in Bayelsa I’d have been more useful to the people. But vacating the seat here gave the opportunity for others and they have done wonderfully well.
“So this period from 1999 till date, my people Bayelsans and Nigerians have given me rare opportunity to serve. First as governor of the state, vice president and president of the country.”
Mr. Jonathan recalled how his political journey started when the former Bayelsa State governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, invited him to join his campaign team.
“I joined the campaign not because I was interested in any elective office,” he said.
“What drove me into joining Alamieyeseigha team was that those of us from very small communities, we always have problems and sometimes we have to go to government. I said that probably if I work with him, and probably he wins election, I will know some of the people who will be in government.”
He further spoke of his belief that the new administration will work with all Nigerians to make better the lives of the people.
“I’m indeed happy that one of the statements the president made was that he does not belong to any clique, that he belongs to Nigerians. I congratulate him for that bold statement.”