Jonathan spoke at the 2018 New Yam Festival of Obinugwu community in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State.
Dignitaries who joined the community’s traditional ruler, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya to welcome the former president to the festival include the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, represented by Ichie Best Mbanazo; member representing Isu/Njaba/Nkwerre/Nwangele, Federal Constituency, Mr. Jones Onyereri and others.
The former president seized the opportunity to thank people of the community and the state for resisting persecution of the traditional ruler, Ilomunanya.
He said: “I urge Nigerians not to despair in the face of persecution. Anything evil does not last for long. It is better to be persecuted for doing the right thing rather than being associated with despicable conducts.”
Jonathan recalled a story of how hostile forces were trying to malign Ilomunanya.
“Eze Ilomuanya as a man has suffered unjust persecution for insisting that the right things be done and never succumbed.
“This is because, in his conscience, he appreciates the need to remain steadfast in goodness rather than buckling under evil pressure.
“Eze Ilomuanya is a very good example of a worthy royal father who understands the imperative of living an upright life.
“We must appreciate goodness even when threatened with persecution because evil doesn’t last for long. A leader must be prepared to face a lot of challenges at some points in life which is what leadership often entails.”