NIGERIA'S PROBLEM DIDN'T START FROM MY REGIME - JONATHAN
He asked Nigerians to reassess their journey from independence till date with a view to ascertaining the areas where the nation had gone wrong in order to make amends.
President Jonathan Commiserating with Gov. Sullivan during the Funeral Service for Late Mrs. Theresa Chime Mother of Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State Friday at St. Mary's Pro-cathedral Catholic Churc, Udi, Enugu State. Photos-state House.
The President spoke at Udi in Enugu State during the funeral service in honour of Governor Sullivan Chime's Mother, Chief Mrs. Theresa Chime, whose remains were laid to rest yesterday.
According to the President, something must have gone wrong along the line from 1914 when the Southern and Northern Protectorate amalgamated till date, stressing that the problem of Nigeria did not start today.
He said: 'Sometimes when critics are lambasting the government, my self as President and the governors sometimes begin to think that yes it is starting today. But what we promise Nigerians is that this country must change.
'When the Priest was speaking, I started asking myself - what must have gone wrong from 1914 that the Northern and Southern parts of the country were amalgamated? They were under colonial rule since 1960 when we started governing ourselves. From 1960 to date it is about 50 years.
'I don't think it is the two years that President Jonathan assumed the office that these problems came up. So something must have gone wrong and all of us citizens of this country must reassess ourselves, our journey from independence till date, the areas that we have not done too well in order to effect a change.
'Let us not play politics with the development of the country. Let us work hard to change our country for the better. We have no other country to go to. There was a time we had a television play where Andrew wanted to check out of the country; we are not checking out of this country, we will all stay, we will all work together, do our best to change the country for our children.'
While commiserating with Governor Sullivan Chime and members of his family over the demise of their mother, the President noted that the woman contributed enormously to the successes recorded by her children.
Emphasizing the role of parents in the upbringing of their children, Jonathan recalled that when he was growing up, his mother warned him 'that if I smoke, I will die' stressing that it was that advice that kept him away from smoking till date.
Governor Chime had earlier in his speech thanked the President for attending the funeral ceremony and prayed God to continue to give him courage and vision to carry out his reform agenda for the nation.
In his sermon at the funeral ceremony, the Principal of College of Immaculate Conception (CIC) , Enugu ,Rev. Dr Nnamdi Nwankwo stated that the late Mrs. Theresa Chime was so fond of her children, adding that she was a devoted christian.
Describing the deceased as a naturally born lawyer and symbol of love, the cleric stated that she also showed love to all children within her environment.
Fr. Nwankwo recalled that the late community leader demonstrated her transparency when she produced the money she saved for Udi Women at the end of the war exactly as they were and refused to change them into Biafran money, a development, he said, earned her the nickname 'Bank of Women'.
President Jonathan read the first lesson from the book of Wisdom 3:1:9 while Governor Sullivan Chime read the second lesson from the second letter of St Paul to Corinthians chapter 4:16 and 5:10.
President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Patience, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Former Governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, former Senate President Chief Ken Nnamani, former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Babanga Tukur, Governors of Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Anambra, Cross River, Abia, Benue and Rivers states, some members of the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly among others witnessed the funeral of Mrs. Chime, who died at the age of 87.