President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday tried to raise the hopes of Nigerians about the conduct of the 2015 elections, insisting that the current spate of violence in some parts of the country would not stop the polls.
“After today, the next Democracy Day will witness a new government. I remember when I was in my village this (yesterday) morning to collect my permanent voter’s card, and a pressman asked me whether there will be elections in Nigeria, I told him there would be elections in this country.
“This country will continue to move forward in spite of some of the setbacks we are witnessing”, the president emphasised while addressing a church congregation in Abuja.
Jonathan alleged that the Boko Haram insurgency was meant to pull down his government. “All these distractions were planned to bring this government down. Since they failed, terror will also fail. Forces of darkness will never prevail over light. I call on all Nigerians to continue to pray and with God on our side, we shall overcome.”
The president spoke at the 2014 Democracy Day Interdenominational Church Service, during which he thanked his audience for their prayers, saying that: “Without your prayers, it would have been worse.
With your prayers, our girls will be seen by our security men”. Stressing that there are two types of forces operating in Nigeria, forces of development and forces of retrogression or evil, he said he was optimistic that the country will overcome the dark forces facing it.
Thanking God for the 15 unbroken years of democracy in the country, he said that it is the best form of government and also provided opportunity for state governors to compare notes, adding that this was not possible under the military era.
Stressing that his administration’s transformation policies were not just mere campaign promises, Jonathan said the government has recorded great achievements in various sectors in the past three years.
He listed the sectors to include rail, roads, airports, agriculture, petroleum, power, industry and housing.
Delivering the message at the service, Pastor Goodheart Ekwueme, took the congregation through Phillipians 2:9, Esther 4:13, 2 Chronicles 7:14.
He said Nigeria current circumstances are similar to those of the period of Mordecai recorded in Esther 4:13. “The dark moment we find ourselves now will surely transform to greatness.
“It is when the time is darkest that God chooses to reveal its glory. I believe Nigeria will arise. A new Nigeria is about to be born.”
“Nigeria is simply experiencing child labour that will give way to the birth of a great nation”, the cleric enthused.
He urged citizens to sacrifice in the midwifery process that will result in the birth of a new great Nigeria, but warned that three things must be done before the rebirth including genuine repentance, fear of the almighty God and offer a united prayer unto the Lord as a church.
Earlier, Senate President David Mark took the Scriptural Reading II from the book of Luke Chapter 10, verses 25 to 37.
Intercessory prayers were said for the nation, security, peace and development, victims and families of recent bomb blasts. Prayers were also said for the successful search and release of the Chibok school girls.
Among dignitaries at the church service were the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, the president’s mother, Eunice, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha.
Others were Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide, members of diplomatic corps, service chiefs and heads of various government agencies.