President Goodluck Jonathan has said the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, cannot frustrate Nigeria.
Speaking at the 53rd Independence Anniversary Interdenominational Church Service in Abuja, he condemned the killing of 21 Agriculture students in Yobe State yesterday.
According to him, the challenges Nigeria is going through are transient and the country will soon get over them.
He said the country has got to the turning point where it will join other developed nations as it is perfecting the starting point of conducting free and fair elections.
Stressing that the country is almost there, he said that there are some forces in the country working against the nation.
He said that all those trying to cause problem for the nation will not succeed, saying that his administration will leave the country better than it met it.
He said: “No Boko Haram or any group can frustrate this country. We may suffer pains just like our Lord Jesus said at the critical moment that though the spirit is willing but the body is weak.
Sometimes our body is very weak, we feel the pains of those who are our direct relations of those who have been killed carelessly. These are things I believe is the creation of the devil to slow down our progress as a nation.”
“Today you will agree with me that if you were in my shoes you will lack words to say. We had this programme in mind, we went to bed last night so that by this time today we will all gather here to thank God for what he has done for this country. But then only few minutes after 12 last night about 21 students were murdered in Yobe state by a group that describes themselves as Boko Haram.”
“If you were wearing my shoes, what courage will you have to stand here before Nigerians, what message would you send to Nigerians, the parents of these young people, our future leaders, students in the school of agriculture.”
“Do you say that the killing of these students is political? Which of the political parties do the students belong to? People who killed them don’t even know them. Do you say it is ethnic? Which ethnic group do the students belong to? Do you say it is religion or belief? These students are they Christians or Muslims?” He queried
“This is the situation that plays almost on a daily basis.
It is quiet depressing. But having listened to the message of the CAN President you will agree with me that all of us have hope and by God’s grace we will get to where we want to go as a nation.” He added
“The journey of a nation is like the journey of an individual, we must have obstacles. Sometimes they say it is even darker when it is getting to the dawn of the day. The challenges we are seeing now are very transient and we will get to the end of it.
Stressing that Nigeria is at the dawn of greatness, he said: “Nigeria is at the turning point where I believe we must move and join the global society. If you look at the journeys of nations, first and foremost before you liberate people you must make sure that they have a civilised way of electing their leaders and we have almost reached there.”
“We must make sure we conduct free and fair elections, but forces of evil don’t want it that way. They want a situation where they will continue to impose themselves or whoever they like on the people. Look at the successes in the telecom industry and we now say the power sector that immediately we liberalise it will now be like the telecom industry.”
He continued: “We have almost gone through the first phase of the privatisation process where people thought that because of corruption on Nigeria would not succeed. We have completely privatised about N3 billion worth of federal government assets and there are no stories of wrong doing.”
“This is the turning point because power is critical in the development of any modern society. The forces of evil will continue to push us backwards but our commitment and the will of God to move forward will surely suppress them.”
“We thank God so far for our journey as a nation. As we look up to our centenary celebration there are quiet a number of questions people sometimes ask themselves, maybe Lord Lugard made a mistake to amalgamate the Northern and Southern parts of the country or what. People talk about Sovereign National Conference and so on and so forth, but those of you who are Christians know that God does not make mistake. God has a reason for Lord Lugard to have amalgated the Northern and Southern Parts of this country.”
“It creates a country with a very high degree of diversity in terms of the human beings, culture and even in terms of our environment. In terms of the ecological zones for agriculture and tourism and all these have to be exploited for the development of this country.”
“Those of them who are trying to exploit our diversity to create problems for us as a nation will surely not succeed.
Jonathan thanked Nigerians for their prayers and assured that “those of you who voted and put us here, we will continue to do our best despite our challenges and we must surely leave this country better than we met it.”
The President during the service also took the 2nd Scripture Reading from the book of Matthew 14: 23-33.
The President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, while delivering the message, noted that one of the problems of the nation are the demonic sacrifices that many Nigerians have made for wealth, spiritual and political powers.
Stressing that it is the spiritual sacrifices that is placed on the alter of God that will activate the alter to fight for the people, he urged all Nigerians, in accordance with Romans Chapter 12, verse 1, to put the whole of their being, spirit, body and soul on the alter.
He said that there are about five spiritual sacrifices that Nigerians can undertake to come out of its present troubles including offering themselves as a living sacrifice unto God as in Romans 12 verse 1 and sacrifice of praise and celebration in line with Hebrews 14 verse 15.
Lamenting the present unemployment situation in the country, he called on all political office holders whether elected or appointed at all levels of government to give half of their yearly salary into an account to be managed by Nigerians of integrity towards creating jobs for Nigerians.
To resolve the face off between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government, he said that the two sides must shift grounds.
He also offer the services of the Christian body to assist in mediating in the crisis.
The CAN President urged Nigerians to desist from politicising terrorism issues.
He commended the civilian JTF in Borno State just as he tasked the elites and leaders to do more to end terrorism and not leave everything for the President to handle.
The Military and other security agencies, he said must do everything to identity and uproot all the officers in their services giving information to the enemies.
Disclosing that some of the victims of Boko Haram attacks attended the service yesterday, he said that there are still about 10,000 Nigerians refugees driven by Boko Haram to Cameroun.
On the celebration of the independence anniversary, he said: “We need to celebrate and sing praises to God. Because whatever needs to be shaken in Nigeria will be shaken.”
“All those that have held this nation captive will never go free. If it does not get to them, it will get to their children. I see doors open for Nigeria and no one or demonic attack, Boko Haram will shut it. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever”. He stated
The Senate President, Senator David Mark took the 1st Scriture Reading from Isaiah 46: 3-10.
Among dignitaries at the church service include former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan and Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih.
Also at the service are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang.
Members of the Diplomatic corp, many senators and House of Reps members, Ministers, Heads of security agencies