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JONATHAN, MARK PRAY ON STATE OF THE NATION

By NBF News
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Less than 24 hours after he presented a N4.749 trillion budget to a joint sitting of the National Assembly, President Goodluck Jonathan joined Senate President, David Mark to pray on the state of the nation.

Jonathan joined the Senate President to pray at the St. Mulumba Catholic Chaplaincy, located within the Apo Mansion Residence of Senate President yesterday morning.

This would be the first time the President would be praying with the Senate President since he was sworn in on May 29. Speaking during the service, President Jonathan asked all Nigerians to collaborate with government and challenge the myriads of problems facing the nation, adding that it is only with collective efforts and prayers that the nation can overcome. He admitted that advanced technology and sophistication in the world has made it imperative that, 'we rise to the occasion to find solution to our problems, especially security.'

President Jonathan admitted, 'the challenges are enormous but I am confident that with our collective efforts and supplication to God, we can surmount them.' He prayed for God's wisdom and courage to do what is just and right for all Nigerians, at all times. He thanked Nigerians for their support and relentless prayers for the success of his administration, promising that 'we shall surely change things for good, we shall do our best, and we shall not disappoint you'. In his remarks, Senator Mark urged Nigerians to show understanding towards government programmes and policies, saying that it takes the understanding of the government and the governed to make things work.

Senator Mark also noted the enormous problems facing the nation, but was quick to point out that the government was making serious efforts to solve them. Meanwhile, President Jonathan has called on Nigerians to donate generously to the Armed Forces Emblem Appeal Fund. He made the call after he was decorated with the puppy memorabilia as the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion, to signify the commencement of Emblem Appeal Fund Armed Forces Remembrance celebration for 2012.

He urged Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to contribute to the welfare of those who survived the various wars and the veterans who may be incapable to cope with life, following the peacekeeping efforts in the world. The President, who led other members of the Federal Executive Council to observe a minute silence to remember the nation's fallen heroes, directed top government officials to identify with the interest of the occasion by wearing the emblem from now till the day of the celebrations.

Earlier, the Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Haliru spoke on the significance of the celebration. The high point of the celebration comes up on January 15 every year with the wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldiers led by the President, heads of the legislative and judicial arms of government, Minister of Defence and service chiefs.