*Insists no amount of insurgency will affect next year’s polls
President Goodluck Jonathan said on Sunday in Abuja that his government is target of the increased terror attacks in the country.
Speaking at a Church service as part of this year’s Democracy Day, Jonathan however assured that despite the increased ferocity of insurgency, the country would continue to move forward.
The President said the objective of those unleashing violence on the nation was to bring down his government but assured that despite their evil machinations the country would continue to move forward.
“All these distractions are planned to bring this government down and since they have 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.”
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 stressed that four or even 10 years were not enough to develop a nation, adding that nation building is a continuous exercise.
Jonathan 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 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 voter’s 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, we 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 said.
On the motive behind terrorist attacks, Jonathan said, “You can imagine if this government has not been facing these distractions within this period, definitely, we would have moved farther than this.
He also admitted that the abduction of schoolgirls in Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno State on April 14 was a major dent on the nation’s security.
He said however these indeed were signs that Nigeria was facing challenges of evil forces but nothing was impossible for God to do.
“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.
In his sermon, taken from the book of Esther, 4:13-17, Pastor Goodheart Ekwueme of House on The Rock, The Refuge, assured Nigerians that a new nation beckons.
Ekwueme likened the violence being witnessed in parts of the county and other social ills to birth pains that a woman undergoes before giving birth to a child.
He assured Nigerians that they would soon forget the pains they are currently passing through.
He said, “The present situation in the country is just an indication of birth pains, we will go through the storms and a new Nigeria of our dreams and aspiration will soon be born.
“A Nigeria where there will be justice and equity will evolve. A new Nigeria where corruption will become exemption rather than the rule will evolve. A county where every citizen will have a sense of belonging will evolve.
“When a child is born, the mother forgets the birth pains. So shall it be in Nigeria soon.
“Such a new Nigeria is about to emerge. It will emerge in spite of the chaos and violence that is presently ravaging our streets, in spite of the naked image of the nation at the global stage; I believe the new Nigeria will emerge.
“The noise will come to an end. Let the new Nigeria evolve.
“Nigeria is at the verge of breaking forth into a new dawn and glory. Often times, it is when the situation is darkest that God chooses to show its light. Nigeria will arise,” he added.
The first reading for the service was taken by a representative of the judiciary from Genesis 11:1-6 while the President of the Senate, David Mark took the second reading from Luke 10:25-37.
Special prayers were rendered for the successful search and release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls by three pupils selected from three schools in Abuja.
Prayers were also offered for the victims and families of recent bomb blasts by Boko Haram, the nation’s security, peace and development, for the President and his family, the three arms of government as well as for the church.
The service also featured praise and worship sessions as well as special songs rendition by the Christian Association of Nigeria Mass Choir, the National Security and Civil Defence Corps Band and pupils of some selected schools in Abuja.
It was attended by the President’s wife, Patience; his mother, Eunice; Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, other members of the National Assembly, members of the Federal Executive Council, members of the judiciary, presidential aides, security chiefs, members of the diplomatic corps, traditional rulers, captains of industry and top government officials among others.