President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said the Federal Government decided to celebrate the 100 years of the nation’s amalgamation despite challenges facing it because of the need for the country to thank God for His faithfulness.
He said although Nigeria like any other country in the world had its challenges, the nation’s opportunities were more than its temporal predicaments.
“We have our challenges in this country like any other country in the world. But fortunately, we have more opportunities in this country than challenges. Our challenges are very ephemeral. Other countries have passed through even more difficult challenges,” Jonathan said at the centenary interdenominational church service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The service with the theme, “Good to give thanks” was the last in the series of a year-long programmes lined up to celebrate the 100 years of the nation’s amalgamation.
The President, who admitted that the country’s road to nationhood in the last 100 years had been rough, expressed optimism that Nigeria would triumph over its challenges.
He reiterated his position that the prayers of the faithful had been sustaining the country.
Jonathan added, “We need a new Nigeria filled with love, with great determination, with passion, a greater Nigeria. Of course, this is my article of faith and hope for a brighter future. Our commitment is to create a Nigeria that our children will be proud of.
“I appeal to all of us to show love more than ever before to one another, regardless of tribe, religion or race. Let us show love even when it hurts most for our lives to be more fulfilled.”
While eulogising the nation’s past leaders, especially a former military leader, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), for their roles in keeping the nation united, Jonathan observed that Nigerians would not have been celebrating if the civil war had succeeded in dividing the country.
Gowon, in a short remark, said the reconciliation that took place at the end of the nation’s civil war was second to none in the world with his no victor, no vanquished declaration.
He urged Nigerians to keep faith with the country and ensure that it continued in peace and unity.
In his sermon, a former Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Ola Makinde, wondered where Nigeria would have been if God was not with the country.
He listed the various challenges the country had faced in its 100 years of existence to include the civil war, the various military coups and counter-coups, the annulment of the June 12,1993 presidential election and the ensued violence, the deaths of a former military dictator, Sani Abacha and Chief M.K.O Abiola, Niger Delta militancy, the death of a former President Umar Yar’Adua and the doctrine of necessity as well as the activities of the Boko Haram Islamists.
by Olalekan Adetayo
(From Biafra Galaxy)