by Isi Esene
Following criticisms over the slowness of his government, President Goodluck Jonathan has promised Nigerians that his government’s policy implementation will move full steam ahead this year.
He said this yesterday in a message during a New Year service at the All Saints’ Anglican Church, Zone 5, Wuse, Abuja.
Jonathan said, “In all our key sectors of the economy, we have laid solid foundations and now we are moving ahead. We will move very fast to make sure that what Nigerians expect from us as a government, we will do.
“We are working very hard and I am convinced that 2013 will be a better year for this country,” he added.
The president had drawn widespread criticism over a statement he made during a Christmas service in Abuja where he tried to explain the reasons for the apparent slow response of his government to the yearnings of the people.
He said experience had taught him not to rush into making decisions so as to avoid making costly mistakes.
Jonathan, however, stressed that his government had been working hard to satisfy Nigerians, especially in the area of checking insecurity in the country.
He reportedly said, “On the part of government, we are also not sleeping. We are working very hard. I am constantly being briefed on security matters that I don’t need to publish in the media. I can assure that our security operatives have been working very hard.
“Most of the people who have been involved in these crimes like bombing of the Catholic Church in Niger State, bombing of the UN Building and bombing of the police headquarters have been arrested. Almost all of them have been arrested,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan thanked the Church for assisting his government with prayers urging it not to relent in its efforts at supporting his administration.
“The church has been praying for this country, not just now. I remember during the period of transition from military to civilian, when this country was drifting and we did not know where we were going, the church prayed. God intervened and stabilized the country,” he said.
He went on to promise to deliver on job creation so as to occupy the youth who could be tempted to resort to crime and fuel insecurity if not properly engaged.
In his sermon, the Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh, had asked Jonathan and others in positions of authority to circumcise their hearts so that they could deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians in the New Year.
“As we start the New Year and mark the naming and circumcision of the baby Jesus today, Nigerians should circumcise their hearts.
“Pastors in the vineyard of God must circumcise their hearts. Captains of industry must circumcise their hearts; civil servants who hide files to make money must circumcise their hearts.
“Politicians at all levels, federal, state and local governments as well as in all arms of government, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary should circumcise their hearts.
“Lecturers who harass female students for marks, and ladies who tempt lectures with their skimpy dresses must also circumcise their hearts,” he said.