2015: Mind your utterances – Jonathan tells politicians

By The Citizen

Ahead of 2015 general elections, President Goodluck Jonathan has a word of advice for politicians: watch your utterances.

The President said such comments are overheating the polity, noting that those politicians do not mean well for the country.

Speaking at a special Christmas service held at St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Maitama, Abuja, he stressed that politicians should embark on issues-based campaigns.

‎Jonathan said, 'As a nation, we have our challenges, every day, we hear what is happening to some parts of the country, including Abuja, bombing by terrorists and extremists. These are temporary things, surely God will see us through. It will surely, come to an end the way it started.

'All what I request from you is to continue to pray for the country as you have been paying. Pray for the victims of terror, we have widows, widowers and orphans, some children are just few days old and their parents have been killed, so what is their fate? Their communities shattered, people have to run to different places, but that is the handiwork of the devil. As a nation, we will pull through.

'I thank our religious leaders, Christian leaders and all Christians who constantly pray for this country, especially for me and my family and the government for us to go through. The challenges of the moment, but for your prayers, probably something else would have happened.

'God bless this country, even with the challenges, one would have expected the economy to collapse completely and of course, if that happens, people working with government and some of the people with the private sector would not have been receiving salaries or anything. God is with us and in spite of what is happening, we are forging ahead and we will pull through.

'I re-assure you that we will continue to do more. It is a week to the end of the year, next year, from January, we will see all political actors campaigning and from the middle of February to the end, we will have the elections at the various levels.

'If a politician wants to take power whether at the House of Assembly level, at the House of Representatives or Senate or governor or president, you don't sow seed of discord and enmity because of course, it will consume you', he warned.

The President also urged elder statesmen who have ‎served the country as either Heads of State or Chief Justice of Nigeria to utilise their constitutional roles in the National Council of State meetings, and advise the government of the day with their wealth of experience, rather using the media to lampoon and rubbish the system.

'As a nation, we know that if anybody who has the privilege of being a governor of a state after serving, he becomes a senior citizen of that state, it is your duty to assist in-coming government.

'For us who are looking for various offices, we should just talk about what we can do for Nigerians, you can market yourself, but not to sow the seed of discord.

'For a politician to stand up, who is even a Christian to say that if he fails election, he will form a parallel government. What makes him feel that he must win the election, even me as a serving president, what makes me feel I must win the election, no matter what I think I am? Nigerians will decide who will govern them at the state level, or federal level, state assemblies or the National Assembly in terms of the federal constituencies and the senatorial districts.

'It is not for you who is looking for the office to think that you are the best person to be there. Are you the most qualified person even by certificate? Are you telling me your certificate is larger than that of others or you even have more certificates? It is the chance of the people and the will of God.

'So, let me use this opportunity to plead with you to continue to pray for us that God should forgive us our sins and that is the only way to move this nation forward. God should give us the wisdom to do what is right.

'All of us who by divine and the will of God are still holding sensitive offices, God should give us the wisdom and the courage to do what is right for our people', he said.

Jonathan thanked religious leaders and followers for their continued prayers for peace and unity in the country.

The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, read the first lesson drawn from Isaiah 9: 2, 6 and 7, while the President took the second reading from Hebrews 1:1-12.

In a sermon titled: 'The Jewish Messianic Expectations and 2015 Elections',  the Primate of the Anglican Church, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, â€Ž said the 2015 elections were a critical period in the country.

He reminded political office seekers that Nigerians have expectations, which border on peace, freedom, security and general prosperity.

He urged both serving and incoming leaders to be guided by the people's expectations in their decisions. Okoh also advised the citizens to base their voting decisions on the communion good, noting that if they elect people that don't care, their conditions would worsen.

On security challenges, the cleric emphasised the need for Nigerians to pray and work together to put 'an end to the reproach.

'We need to stop viewing security issues as politics. It is everyone's duty to join in the fight against terrorists and rescue our nation.'

The President was accompanied by his wife, mother, Eunice, and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The service was also attended by some past government officials including a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana. - The Sun.