Jonathan to Obasanjo: You Don`t Own Nigeria
In a veiled reference to former president Olusegun Obasanjo's publicly circulated letter, President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday said that no politician or group of politicians can claim ownership of the country.
Speaking in Abuja at the Christmas Day service of the Diocese of Abuja, The Cathedral Church of the Advent in Lifecamp, he accused certain people, ostensibly led by Obasanjo, of making unbecoming public statements and writing unnecessary open letters.
According to the president, this is a period when politicians who think they own the country are thinking of the next election and scheming to favour their interests. He therefore called on clergymen and statesmen, 'who really own this country' to pray. He added that the country belongs to statesmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders, men, our women and youth, rather than any one politician.
Jonathan also spoke on other matters, such as terrorism, which he described as an entanglement so difficult to extricate the country from.
'For those who know about terrorism, countries that are infested with terror will hardly get out of it', he said.
'If you look at a country like Pakistan, we even go to Pakistan to train our soldiers. In some parts of Pakistan as we are talking now, there appears to be no government. So this country could have been worse.
'Look at the incidents in Abuja, even the Police headquarters was bombed, the UN building right here in the seat of government. Maybe their next target would have been the State House. So we have to thank God that we have been able to bring it to a reasonable level, though we are far from getting over. There are a lot of challenges but we have to thank God'.
He wondered how the country would have handled a daunting task as Syria's, or the case with South Sudan that was part of Sudan but thought it was being dominated despite having the resources.
'There is oil in part of South Sudan; they carried arms against the state; finally, the whole world, through the UN, liberated them. In fact, within this week, we will be attending the Security Council meeting under the AU. My envoy just came back on Sunday from where he had conversation with them on how we can stop this madness,' he continued.
'So we have to thank God even though we still have this security challenges in our country; at least, we are reasonably better. In terms of Nigeria having crisis, the primate was wondering if Ghana can accommodate us, if Sierra Leone can accommodate us. I was just laughing because even now, Nigerians in these countries, the people are not even comfortable, we don't have crisis but from Cameroon to Senegal, Nigerians are everywhere. If not for political and diplomatic reasons they would have even asked some of them to leave. Then assuming we have crisis, what would be the state, where will you go? Is it the Atlantic Ocean? So I urge you to continue to pray'.
He thanked the religious leaders of the country for their prayers, which he believes God has been answering. He also promised to do his best 'within the period that God has asked us to occupy the positions we are occupying'.
In his sermon titled Peace and Joy , the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh noted that the first coming of Jesus Christ brought peace and joy but that it will only be full at His second coming. Observing that no country in the world enjoys total peace, he urged Nigerians to continue thanking God for the mildness of their situation.
'We have challenges, but how can you be talking of peace and joy to people in Syria, DRC, Southern Sudan, Middle East, Egypt, Indonesia and Ukraine? Will they understand? How do you explain joy to somebody who is bed-ridden?' he queried.
'These are the issues frustrating peace. The western world sells these arms to other parts of the globe and is still talking about peace. The money that people steal, they take it outside and they receive it and turn back to say these people are bad.
'Only God can give us peace and joy because man has so much complicated himself. If you have three good stories that give you joy, you are likely to have six stories that will upset you'.