Jonathan seeks prayers for Buhari, says we have done our part
AT his final church service as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday asked Nigerians, irrespective of their religious persuasion to pray fervently for the incoming administration to be headed by Muhammadu Buhari and his team in order to move the country forward.
At the Presidential Thanksgiving and Inauguration Inter-denominational Service held at the National Christian Centre (NCC) in Abuja, the President said the in-coming government needed prayers to fix Nigerian’s problems.
Speaking at the service heralding the inauguration of the incoming administration , the president noted they required more prayers than those exiting the stage.
But he, nevertheless expressed gratitude to Nigerians for their prayers, which led to the successes recorded by his administration.
At the service which was attended by the Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and his wife, Dolapo, Jonathan recalled that he was in the same spot eight years ago, that was in 2007, where he solicited the support and prayers of Nigerians to enable God guide his actions, noting that the prayers were well answered.
According to Jonathan: “For me, I remain very grateful to God because in 2007 when I was here and I was asked to speak, I couldn’t even.
As a mere mortal, I can’t claim to be perfect, never! I must have done things wrongly in one way or the other, I must have sinned in several ways but I prayed and called on Christians to pray for me that any decision that I will take that will affect the nation, God should guide me.
“I thank God that today, we are here, not to celebrate the disintegration of this country but celebrating the unity of this country. We are here not having service for mass burial , but we are here having service to inaugurate an incoming government.
This became possible as a result of men and women like you who over this period , have been praying and God heard our prayers.
God has designed everything for all of us; ours is only to follow.”
The President thanked Nigerians for their support and urged “ you all to pray for us who are leaving, because probably today is the last day I will speak to you here as the president of Nigeria.
If I have an opportunity to climb up here again, probably it would be to bring a message of a former president.
So today is unique to me because it is the last day we will have this conversation as the person you elected to be president.
I call on all Christians and members of other religious bodies to pray for the incoming government to succeed because we all want good governance, prosperity, unity and peace. We can’t achieve that without the help of God. I thank you for your prayers and support for this past eight years.
As a nation, he said Nigeria had every reason to be grateful to God.
“We compare ourselves with other nations, some of them have stayed for 200 years plus but we know that we are not doing badly.
“Today , our party the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is handing over to a conglomeration of so many political parties that formed the APC. One good thing is that since 2007 till date, we have always been here for the inauguration service and today we are here. That shows clearly that whoever is the President or the Vice President, we have one nation and we have one God.”
In his homily, the Primate of Anglican Diocese, Most Rvd. Nicholas Okoh stressed the need for forgiveness in human activities, citing the recent political campaigns, which he described as the fiercest in the history of the country.
His words, “Mr. President, on the eve of leaving office, it is appropriate to think what you have done wrong and right. God has forgiven us. We should forgive those who have disappointed us. When we forgive ourselves and others , we set ourselves free. Without forgiveness, there is no access to God.
During the campaign, there were many offences, but we must forgive one another. The last campaigns could be proved to be the bitterest in our national history. But we must forgive. Mr. President, you and your family, God healed you many times.
“You are leaving for Nigeria, Africa and the world a new political attitude, an attitude that your political ambition is not worth the blood of anybody.
Through this attitude, you engendered peace. Today, there is peace in our country and we are grateful to God.
This peace will create an enabling environment to build a strong and progressive Nigeria . It is not just an attitude of the moment, it is a principle.
If you like, call it Jonathanism- the ability to accept the outcome of the election showing that there is life outside the State House.