ByÂ Sam Eyoboka
NEWLY inaugurated President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday night thanked Nigerians for their prayer support since the inception of the current administration, urging them to continue in their fervent prayers for continued peace and progress of the nation.
The president made the remark during a condolence and solidarity visit by the leadership of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, who called to commiserate with him and the people of Nigeria onÂ the demise, on Wednesday, of President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua.
Jonathan, who received the 7-man delegation led by the PFN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, at about 8.00 p.m. at his Aguda House residence, thanked the religious leaders for the visit and their concern for the well being of the country in general.
He assured them that he will give his very best to move the nation forward, stating, â€œI am not unaware of your prayers for this administration since 2007 when we came on board and the prayers haveÂ continued right up till now.
â€œI therefore urge you to continue with your prayers, because as you already know, there is need for more prayers now as we approach another election year,â€ he appealed to the Pentecostal clerics.
The president, who also used the occasion to extend his hand of fellowship to the Christian community, thanked them for their condolences and words of encouragement, since the demise of his predecessor, pledging to convey their goodwill wishes to the immediate family of the deceased.
Before praying with the new president for Godâ€™s wisdom to lead the country aright, the PFN delegation, which comprised the national president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, his deputy, Rev. (Mrs.) Mercy Ezekiel, national secretary, Rev. Wale Adefarasin, Rev. Uma Ukpai, Rev Felix Omobude, the immediate past Aso Rock chaplain, Rev. William Okoye and Rev. Olaiya Philips, commiserated with the president over Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s death.
â€œAs living beings, what has happened cannot be said to be unexpected because the Scriptures tells us that there is a time to be born just as there is another to die,â€ Oritsejafor told the president, praying God to grant the immediate family, the people of Katsina State, and the country as a whole the fortitude to bear the loss.
The PFN helmsman described the late president as a great and uncommon leader who endeared himself to the people of the Niger Delta region by being the first Nigerian leader to confront the Niger Delta crisis with utmost seriousness.
He also thanked God for the emergence ofÂ Jonathan to pilot the affairs of the Nigerian state for the remaining stanza of the administration, stating that his emergence was not the making of any man, but by divine design.