On Sunday a thanksgiving and farewell service in honour of President Goodluck Jonathan and the wife Patience Jonathan at the Cathedral Church of the Advent Life –Camp, Gwarinpa, and Abuja was presided by the most Revd Nicholas D Okoh, the Archbishop Metropolitan and primate of all Nigeria, Anglican Diocese. The valedictory service at the Anglican Church was filled to capacity as most members of the federal executive council attended the service.
President Jonathan read the first lesson while the first lady Patience Jonathan read the second lesson. The church also presented a gift which was a huge picture of the president. Former minister of information Jerry Gana praised the president for his contribution to the growth of Nigeria and prayed for him. The minister of power Chinedu Nebo also eulogised the president. He gave thanks to God that president and the wife are leaving the president villa in one piece. He reminded the audience that his predecessors left with only one of the partners alive. He said that was sufficient to give thanks. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said President Jonathan is a state builder and not a destroyer. He biblically, Jonathan has made himself the child of God. He said the bible said blessed is the peace makers for they shall inherit the earth.
The president said he was quite happy ‘when I look at the whole picture of my life up to when I became the president of this country, I say that if soldiers and police officers that have not received 0.5 per cent of the benefits that I have received from the state can lay their lives for this country, I should do anything in the interest of Nigeria including paying the supreme price.
‘As long as I live, I will continue to do my best for the state because the state has helped me as a person. I have to thank Nigerians especially my state for giving me the opportunity to serve as deputy governor and then president, first was to complete the tenure of the late president and later serve as president from which I am exiting now as a very happy and fulfilled man.
‘I believe there are reasons for everything. Some hard decisions have their own cost, no doubt about that. That I have ran the government this way that stabilised certain things, the electoral process and other things that brought stability into this country. They were very costly decisions which I myself must be ready to pay for.
‘Some people come to me and say is this and that person not your friend that benefitted from you? Is it not your government that this person benefitted from? But this is what the person is saying. But I know worse statements will come. If you take certain decisions, you should know that those close to you will even abandon you at some point. And I tell them that more of my so called friends will disappear.’
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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