Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south district, says he was among the critics of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan when he was in power, but now, he appreciates him more.
According to Daily Trust, Ndume made the comment at the launch of a wellness centre in Abuja.
Ndume, who was granted bail after five days in detention, reportedly said Jonathan left a landmark in the country.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) senator had been remanded in prison after Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), whom he stood as surety for, jumped bail.
“As God wants it, that I must be here, because I was just released from detention yesterday night (Friday), maybe God wants me to attend this occasion, otherwise, I would have been in Kuje prison up till now.” Ndume was quoted to have said.
“I must confess, as people call me stubborn person, I’m also a stubborn person. I feel I need to make this testimony here, and also appreciate Mr.(former) President, as they say you will never know what you have until you lose it. I will stop there.
“For this country, I think Nigerians know that they don’t value what they have until they lose that thing. We thank God for your life and you have changed the political culture and landscape of this country.
“You don’t know how great you are in the eyes of those that were skeptical, those that don’t know you, those that didn’t come close to you. But now, honestly, I am one of those that used to criticize you very well, but I will say it was constructive move.
“He wanted to be president but Nigeria being what it is, it was a different thing entirely. Like I said, he left a landmark on this country.”
Jonathan has been enjoying goodwill from APC leaders in recent times. TheCable had reported how governors of the APC swooped on him one week ago.
They had visited the ex-president at his Abuja residence in commemoration of his birthday but also held a private meeting with him.