President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday admitted that Nigeria’s problems were increasing, instead of abating.
Noting that the situation would have been worse if not for the prayers of Nigerians, Jonathan said he was optimistic that God would, in the same way he tackled the problems of the Israelites, do same for Nigeria.
The President spoke at the last Sunday of the year service by the Christ Apostolic Church, Area 1, Durumi, Abuja.
He said , “One of the reasons I go round churches, at least in Abuja, is to thank my brothers and sisters for the prayers they have been having for the country, the government and I.
“We are facing a lot of challenges now as a nation. The challenges did not start today but somehow, instead of abating, the problems started increasing for one reason or the other.
“But I am convinced that it would have been worse than this but for your prayers. With the prayers you continue to offer to God, God will see us through.
“I always say that whenever I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, particularly the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land, the kind of challenges they faced; their confrontations, the wars up to the days of King David, they were always fighting. You may need to ask, why should children of God continue to be fighting?
“I believe what is happening to us is not even as serious as sometimes the passages we read in the Bible and God saw them through.”
Jonathan promised that despite the challenges, his administration would continue to do its best to reposition the country.
He said although the results might not be immediate, his government had introduced a lot of policies that would change the nation’s fortunes positively.
According to him, if the steady progress is sustained, Nigeria will be a better place in the next four or five years.
He added, “The God we believe in will see us through. What I will request from you is to continue to pray for us.
“For me and members of my team, in spite of the challenges, we will continue to do our best.
“As a nation, we have not reached where we want to go, definitely not. But we are coming up with a number of policies.
‘‘Those who are taking pain to look at what we are doing will agree with us that if we progress as a nation steadily in this manner, in the next four or five years, this country will be a better place.
“Only a few days back, the Vice President was in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to flag off the Eastern railway. The Western one moving from Lagos to Kano has been running. We will start using the modern one from Kaduna to Abuja by the first quarter of next year and the one from Port Harcourt.
“When we were small, there were railways. But I believe most of our children of about 30 years only see railway as cartoons on the television but now, they are seeing it.
“We relied on agriculture before the oil boom or doom and all that died. We are reviving it and the whole world has appreciated that we are moving forward in agriculture.
“When something is started, people do not see the benefits immediately. We know that as a nation, we have a lot of challenges in terms of getting jobs for our young ones and we have set up a lot of programmes that can bring job opportunities for our young men.
“The result may not be obvious immediately but God willing, job opportunities will continue to increase and many more young people will be engaged.”
Jonathan reiterated his position that his administration was working hard to ensure that the effects of the drop in oil price did not affect the nation’s economy adversely.
He said since the nation survived a similar situation between 2008 and 2009 when oil price dropped to $40, it would survive the current one
He said although there might be temporary inconveniences, the situation would not bring the economy down.
Jonathan described 2015 as a tempting year for the country, saying elections year in third world countries is always a turbulent year with all kinds of predictions.
Despite the charged atmosphere ahead of the elections however, he said God would see the country through.
He urged the congregation to continue to pray for politicians for God to guide their utterances and actions.
The President observed that if indeed aspirants to various public offices were interested in the well-being of the people, they would not kill or maim people to win elections.
Jonathan said, “All that I will request of you is to continue to pray for politicians for God to guide us in our utterances and what we do so that we will not sacrifice the lives of Nigerians because of our ambitions.
“Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian. Pray for God to give us that wisdom and mind to make sure we conduct ourselves in a way that will not set the country ablaze because of our own personal ambitions.
“There are so many good Nigerians that can hold the offices we are occupying or aspiring to occupy. It is by God’s plan that we are here in positions of authority.
“None of us should begin to think that he is the best person to occupy any public office. There are a thousands and one Nigerians that are more qualified than those aspiring to occupy offices.
“The development of Nigeria is what all of us want. If every aspirant has the mind to develop the people, then you do not need to kill or maim people to get there.
“You do not need to kill the people you want to develop in order to get to the office you want except if you are aspiring for that office for a different reason.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of CAC Worldwide, Pastor Abraham Akinosun, had said that God had promised to make Nigeria a great nation.
Akinosun’s message was read by the Chairman of the church’s Federal Capital City Zonal Headquarters, Pastor Michael Olatunde.
He regretted that despite God’s promises to the nation, the devil had also appointed some people to truncate Nigeria’s progress.
He said such people and their activities were manifesting in various ways.
The clergyman said the position of such people who had vowed to make the nation ungovernable was not strange.
He recalled that Jesus Christ, Nehemiah and Ezekiel among other Biblical characters also faced stiff opposition from their people.
He urged Jonathan not to be distracted but to remain focused on rebuilding the country.
Jonathan was accompanied to the service by his mother, Eunice; his Chief of Staff, Jones Arogbofa; his Chief Personal Physician, Dr. Fortune Fiberesima; and the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, among other top government officials.
Special prayers were made for the President, the country and the success of the forthcoming elections during the service held under tight security.
Gifts were also presented to the President by the church authorities.