President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that Nigeria will overcome the Boko Haram insurgency.
Speaking at the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Area1, Abuja, where he participated in the first Sunday Service of the year, the president said his administration would ensure the even development of all parts of the country. He said his administration “sympathize(d) with those who have been affected by the executions” carried out by the Boko Haram.
“Boko Haram is temporary, Boko Haram will surely go. A number of countries are facing similar challenges and some have been able to overcome it and surely we will overcome Boko Haram. Life in the north must change; development must go to all parts of this country,” he said.
The president said nobody or group can hold Nigeria to ransom, saying “we will collectively liberate this country from the hands of any evil person, so that we can leave behind a Nigeria that our children and grandchildren will be proud of.”
Mr. Jonathan said the current tense political situation prior to 2015 general elections was normal, even in developed countries; saying it would not deter his administration from proceeding with its programmes.
“I will not bore you, but let me reassure you again that myself and those who have been elected this period, that the political environment are always noisy all over the world. There is nowhere you won’t hear so much noise,” he said.
“Even the United States of America, not long ago, the country was almost shut down. For so many months people were worried that the country that has practiced democracy for so many years could get to that situation. But that is politics for you.
“But let me reassure you that we will continue to work harder to improve the quality of lives of Nigerians. …..anything you start, there is always a time.”
The president said development projects take time to complete and asked for patience from Nigerians.
“If you want to build a single storey building, it must take you some time to build. We are building one small mini private banquet for the President in the State House…. with a great company like Julius Berger, what we thought will take six months is getting two years,” he said.
Mr. Jonathan said he would not read a prepared speech so as not to be misinterpreted.
“I’m not going to read a speech because I avoid making speeches this time around so that I will not be misinterpreted. We are quite pleased to be with you today. We have enjoyed your approach to worship. Let me again thank the new incoming President, Reverend Datiri, for the sermon,” he said.
In his message to the congregation, the new President of COCIN, Dachollom Datiri, noted that the church has suffered greatly from Boko Haram attacks in its branches in the North East.
He commended the President for declaring State of Emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa; saying it had helped check insurgent activities.
“Your transformation agenda is loveable and commendable. You are always in church and God will never forget you. When a leader puts the things of God first, all other things shall be added unto him,” he said.
The cleric assured of his church’s support for the Jonathan administration, saying, “COCIN is ever thankful to God for giving you to Nigeria, COCIN members despite political affiliations will support you.”
Among those who attended the Sunday service were the President’s mother, Eunice Jonathan; the President’s Chief of Staff, Mike Ogiadhome; Police Affairs Minister, Caleb Olubolade; and Minister of FCT (State), Olajumoke Akinjide.