President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday admitted that the April 14 abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State was a major dent on the nation’s security.
He said the abduction and other violence being unleashed on the country by the Boko Haram sect were signs that Nigeria is facing challenges of evil forces.
Jonathan spoke at the 2014 Democracy Day Interdenominational Church Service with the theme “Love The Lord…and your Neighbour” held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
“We have been witnessing terror attacks for two years plus, but the Chibok incident has added a major dent to the security of the country. There is nothing God cannot do. With your prayers, our girls will be seen by our security personnel,” he said.
The President who touched on several national issues during the remarks said the objective of those unleashing violence on the nation was to bring down his government.
He said despite their evil machinations however, the country would continue to move forward.
He also assured Nigerians that despite the security challenges in parts of the country, elections would hold next year as scheduled.
The President said one of the beauties of democracy which the nation has been practising for the past 15 years is that every public office holder knows the terminal date of his administration.
He said despite the problems associated with democracy, it remains the best form of government.
He however posited that four or even 10 years are not enough to develop a nation, adding that nation building is a continuous exercise.
He said the revamping of the rail sector, the privatisation of the power sector, the housing sector, industrial development, the remodeling of the nation’s airports and the reforms in the agricultural sector among others were clear signs that his transformation promises to Nigerians were not mere political promises.
While pointing to the successful hosting of the World Economic Forum for Africa, Jonathan said Nigeria under his watch would have gone farther but for the distractions being targeted at his government.
He recalled that some forces wanted to frustrate the event by detonating bombs in Nyanya, a satellite town of Abuja.
He reiterated his position that but for the prayers of Nigerians, the security challenges in the country would have been worse.
“After today, the next Democracy Day will witness a new government.
“I remember when I was in my village this morning to collect my permanent voters card and a pressman asked me whether there will be election in Nigeria and I told him there will be elections in the country.
“This country will continue to move in spite of some of the setbacks we are witnessing,” the President said.
Quoting from the Holy Bible, the President said nothing could separate Nigerians from the love of God because forces of retrogression had always remained part of human history.
“In human history, either individuals or societies, they are always confronted with two forces- the forces of development and forces of retrogression, sometimes they call them evil forces.
“Our country is facing the challenges of some of these forces, the evil forces. I really do not want to celebrate the evil forces because surely,mwe will go over it.
“You will agree with me that within these three years of this government, our agenda for transformation is coming out.
“We have not reached where we want to go but there are certain signs that people will use to know whether government is committed or is deceiving,” he added.
Jonathan said his government was working and would continue to work since the nation had not reached its destination.
On national development, he said, “Definitely, we cannot build a nation in three years. This government is three years old. By May 29 next year, we would have completed our four years.
“Even four years, even 10 years are not enough. Nation building is a continuous process. The most important thing is to start very well and continue to do things very well.”
On the motive behind terrorist attacks, the President said, “You can imagine if this government has not been facing these distractions within this period, definitely, we would have moved farther than this.
“All these distractions are planned to bring this government down and since they failed, terror will also fail.
“Terror will not stop this country from progressing. We know that these terrorists are human and they are evil men. Definitely, they are among those we categorise as evil forces.
“Forces of evil will never prevail. Forces of darkness will never prevail. I call on all Nigerians, Christians and non-Christians who pray, to continue to pray and I believe that God is on our side. Forces of evil and darkness will never prevail.”
Pastor Goodheart Ekwueme in his sermon taken from Esther 4:13-17 assured Nigerians that a new nation beckons.
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