Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari (C) sits with Aisha Buhari, the new first lady of Nigeria (3rd L) and outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan (R) during his inauguration in Abuja, Nigeria 29 May 2015. Muhammadu Buhari was inuagurated as president of Nigeria at a ceremony in the capital Abuja. May 30, 2015| Credit: Anadolu Agency

By Oladipupo Oni/Abuja Bureau Chief

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has told Nigerians who voted against him but are now begging him for forgiveness following extreme hardship under President Muhammadu Buhari that there’s no need to apologise to him.

Mr. Buhari, who beat Mr. Jonathan in a highly contested election in 2015, has found himself in virtually the same position with millions of unemployed workers, a nation without electricity and myriad of other challenges.

The hardship and hunger have forced even celebrity singers such Tuface to plan protests against the administration of Buhari in Lagos.

Police have banned the protests, but the message is clear: Mr. Buhari has lost popularity less than 24 months in office.

The former President posted his comments on Facebook after a Nigerian who had blasted him over the high exchange rate back then apologised to him.

Back then, a dollar was equal to about 180 naira. But now, a dollar under Buhari goes for about 500 naira. The collapse of the Nigerian currency prompted the apology from someone called Mohammad Deedee who tweeted Senator Ben Bruce saying “GEJ should pls forgive me”.

But Mr. Jonathan reacted by saying: “There is no need for forgiveness because you did not commit any sin against me. I never felt offended or held a grudge”.

He added: “Mohammad, please do not feel bad. You did what you did as your patriotic duty. A true leader must appreciate his critics. Sometimes they tell him the truth more than friends. I appreciate you. God bless you Mohammad. GEJ”.

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