by Oge Okonkwo
President Goodluck Jonathan added that Nigeria’s problem is lack of love and unity.
The president earlier today maintained that he rose from the smallest community in Bayelsa State to become the President of Nigeria by the grace of God and the support of the people.
He made this statement at the Apostolic Faith Church in Jabi, Abuja, where he worshiped with the congregation in the Sunday Church Service.
Jonathan who is presently not in good terms with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, noted that lack of love and unity has been the greatest problem facing the country.Likening the present challenges in Nigeria to those faced by the Israelites in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible when leaving Egypt for the Promised Land, he promised to bequeath a better Nigeria to the upcoming children.He urged the congregation to continue to pray for Nigeria as the country has been specially blessed by God and will get to greater heights through the prayers of Nigerians.Jonathan said: “We will try our best but this is not the time to reel out what we are doing or what we are not doing, otherwise they will think I am here to campaign. But I assure you, this congregation and indeed all Nigerians that by the will of God and your support, I am here today from nowhere.”“Any child of Nigeria can be where I am. I come from the smallest state in this country, even within the state, one of the smallest communities in Bayelsa state. Even within the community, one of the smallest families, but I am here today by the grace of God.”“That is the type of Nigeria we want to create, a Nigeria where you can get what you want if you work hard, it is not because you know somebody who knows somebody that will talk to somebody. A Nigeria that our children, if they work hard, will get whatever they want just like in other free societies like America and so on. We will work with you to help you to get to wherever you want to go.” He addedStressing that he had no formal address to read to the congregation, the President said that he has recently been misquoted by the media.“I don’t have a formal address. Because for those of us in politics, these days are not the best days to make speeches because any statement we make, people look at how to paint it. The next day when you read the newspapers, you start doubting if that is what you said. So any statement we make is always used against us.” He saidHe went on: “But I am quite pleased to be here with you today to worship with you. I love the children and your programme. I love the choir ministration. Probably, this is the first time I am worshiping with you since I came to Abuja in 2007. Probably, you would have seen me more than ten times if we don’t have a chapel in the villa, so we worship there every Sunday.”“But during the Christmas and New Year period, I like to go round and interact with other brethren. The reason is actually to thank all of you for what you have been doing for this country, for your prayers. I always say and I will continue to say it that but for your prayers, probably it would have been worse than this.”“As a nation, we have our challenges, no doubt about that and anytime I look at the history of Nigeria and the challenges we face and when I read parts of the old statement about when the Israelites decided to move out of Egypt to the promised land, we have something quite similar.” “As you are getting closer, you meet more obstacles and thank God for the sermon we heard and of course the songs showed that the greatest problem we have is love and unity. Yes, Nigeria was amalgamated by our colonial masters in 1914. By 1st January next year, Nigeria as a state will be 100 years old.”Harping on the divine creation of Nigeria, he said: “But I totally agree with our man of God that it was not by chance, it was ordained by God. If God didn’t will it at that point, the north and south would not have come together. The details of the north and south coming together make Nigeria a very great country. I use to say that Nigeria is great not because of oil, we have countries that produce more oil than Nigeria but nobody talks about them.”“We have countries that have multi million dollars in reserve because of their wealth and nobody talks about them but here we are just talking about 40,000 dollars. But the biggest to the smallest country talks about Nigeria. Why? Because of the diversity from the north to the south, the human and natural resources, the potentials and the population that we have.”“So, Nigeria is a country that has a special blessing from God. It is left for us to appreciate God and continue to pray for God’s intervention and this country will continue to be great.”“I promise our children that we are totally committed to make sure that they meet a different Nigeria. We will collectively work hard to overcome these barriers, these feelings of oh that I am Christian, I am a Muslim, I am Hausa, I am Ijaw. Immediately we cross that barrier and we begin to believe that we are all Nigerians and we are committed to the development of this country, our children will surely meet a better Nigeria.” Jonathan said.Earlier in the service, the President took the Bible Reading from the Book of Lamentations, Chapter 3, Verses 22 to 26.Delivering the sermon titled ‘Living worthy of great mercies, great faithfulness of God,’ Rev. Bayo Adeniran said that Nigeria will be very great if it returns from its evil ways, repent and follow God like the people of Nineveh in the Bible in Jonah 3: 5 to 8.While praying for Nigeria, he urged Nigerians to be wary of false prophets stressing that the mercies and grace of God is available for the countryHe said: “If Nigeria believe in God like the people of Nineveh, God will heal Nigeria. The swiftness of God shall visit this country. We are so bothered about external corruption, but there are so much corruption in the heart.”“The nation starts with you, the individual and the family. Return to God and God will answer your prayers. Nigeria shall not die, Nigeria will live if we return to God.” He statedHe also took the congregation through Psalm 100:4-5, Luke 17:15, Psalm 101:1, Psalm 130:1-4, Psalm 90:13-17 and Luke 13: 6-9.Some top government officials attended the service with the President.