Real friends stick around even during the hard times.

President Goodluck Jonathan was reminded of this fact, when some of his friends deserted him when he lost the presidential elections.

The president revealed this while speaking at the thanksgiving/farewell service held in his honour at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Abuja.

Here are excerpts from his speech, as reported by Vanguard:

“I believe there are reasons for everything. Some hard decisions have their own cost, no doubt about that. I ran the government in such a way that stabilized certain things like the electoral process and other things that brought stability to this country and took very costly decisions which I must be ready to pay for.

Some people come to me and say ‘look at this person or that person, is he not your friend who benefited from you, has this person not benefited from your government ? Imagine what he is saying’? I often tell them that worse statements will come. If you take certain decisions, you should know that those close to you will even abandon you at some point. And I tell them that more of my so-called friends will disappear. When FW De Klerk took the decision to abolish minority rule in RSA, even his wife divorced him. I hope my wife will not divorce me. But that is the only decision that has made RSA to still remain a global player by this time. If we still had that minority rule there, by this time, nobody will be talking about RSA.

If you take certain decisions, it might be good for the generality of the people but it might affect people differently. So for ministers and aides who served with me, I sympathize with them, they will be persecuted. And they must be ready for that persecution.

When I look at the whole picture of my life up to when I became the president of this country, I give glory to God. And I tell myself that if soldiers and police officers who never received 0.5 per cent of the benefits that I have received from the state can lay down their lives for this country, I should be ready to do anything in the interest of Nigeria including paying the supreme price.

As long as I live, I will continue to do my best for the state because the state has helped me as a person.

I have to thank Nigerians especially my state for giving me the opportunity to serve as deputy governor and the whole country for giving me the opportunity to serve as Vice President and then president. First to complete the tenure of the late President (Umaru Yar’Adua) and later serve as president from which I am now exiting as a very happy and fulfilled man.”