President Jonathan while receiving the Vice President Sambo, FCT minister Bala Mohammed, Senator Aduda and others at the presidential villa thanked Nigerians for the opportunity they gave him to serve the nation at various levels. He expressed happiness that he was able to serve the nation at the level where government took care of him for 16years.
According to the president ‘I have been in government for 16 years beginning from 1999. Not in government as a parliamentarian because if you are a senator or House of Representatives member, you take care of yourself, you live in your own house. I was in a cage, being taken care of by government, from May 1999 to date, 16 good years. I think it is enough and I am happy.
Please help me to thank God for that. I will continue to thank Nigerians for giving me that privilege. I became a deputy governor because Bayelsans voted for me and the governor. I became Vice president because Nigerians voted for Yar’Adua and me. I continue in 2011 because Nigerians voted me and Namadi Sambo. I have to thank all Nigerians. Wherever I will be, I will remain grateful to this great country. Today is a glorious day for me.
He said, ‘so as a people and as a government what I believe we should always ask is; what sacrifice are we making. Now it is not about supporting Jonathan or his government. Now Buhari is coming on board, it is not about supporting Buhari or his government but the sacrifice we are willing to make for government and for the nation. If a business man and you say you are supporting government but you don’t pay tax, how then do you expect that government to survive?
While in Bayelsa state as a deputy governor, people used to come to me to say I’m loyal, but I always tell them to say that they are patriotic to the country. To me, whenever I travel out of the country and see things work, I tell myself that those things didn’t fall down like manna, people made sacrifices. Therefore, people in Nigeria must also be ready to make sacrifice.
Whoever becomes president is immaterial so long as the citizens are happy, our children go to school, the sick go to good hospital and of course, the economy is working. But for them to take place, people must make the required sacrifices.
In the Ecowas sub region for example, Nigeria has the lowest rate of value added tax which is 5%. Other countries in the region pay up to 13%. If for instance, Buhari decides to increase VAT from 5% to 10%, will Nigerians support him? That is sacrifice and we must make sacrifice. Nation building depends on sacrifice by individuals and patriotism.
We are talking about Boko Haram or terror, soldiers are dying so that others can live, and policemen are dying while protecting us. These people are making sacrifices, as individuals we don’t to die but there are roles to play and one of them is to make sacrifice.
The Vice President Namadi Sambo who led the delegation to the President appreciated the president. He said the president has made the country the pride of Africa for the singular act of conceding defeat. He said he is proud of the president and has learnt a lot from the president as they are members of the same family.
According to sambo, ‘I will forever be loyal to you. We are members of one family. We are very proud of you. All Nigerians appreciate the strong foundation you have put in place.
At the church service at the presidential villa, the president said the Easter coincided with the time he is leaving office and that he is one of the luckiest Nigerians. The chaplain of the presidential villa, Ven. Obioma Onwuzurumba said that Nigerians will look for Jonathan. According to him, ‘this Jonathan they did not want they will look for him. This Jonathan they despised, they will look for him. They will seek his advice. He is not Jesus, but he is like Jesus. I am not here to praise him.
‘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.’
-Ex VP Atiku Abubakar on Restructuring.
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