BY DANIEL IDONOR
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, explained why it took him some time before declaring emergency rule in 15 local government areas of Borno, Plateau, Niger and Yobe states, saying that it was to avoid unpardonable mistakes that will tell on the lives and well-being of Nigerians.
Speaking at the First Baptist Church, Garki, Abuja, where he attended the new year church service with his family and aides, Jonathan explained that “when I’m challenged I think more, I don’t rush to take decisions, I listen more to people. That is why a times it looks as if I’m slow. I also know that when people rush to take decisions, they also make a lot of mistakes. A lot of people only celebrate their successes and not their mistakes.”
Jonathan, who also ordered the immediate but temporary closure of the country’s borders with Chad, Niger and Cameroon over the terrorists attack by the Boko Haram sect, had in a nationwide broadcast, anchored the declaration of emergency rule on the provision of Section 305(1) of the Constitution.,
While calling for more prayers so that Nigeria can overcome her current security challenges in 2012, Jonathan assured that the new year “is the year of turning point in Nigeria’s history.”
The President, however, regretted that despite the fact that Nigeria gained her independence 51 years ago, it was yet to compete favourably with her contemporaries but assured that in 2012, “collectively we will change history.”
According to him, “when you compare Nigeria to other nations, Nigeria is not moving fast enough. I promise we will work with all Nigerians to see how things can be done differently. We have our challenges and that is where the devil comes in and put road blocks.
“So, I assure this congregation that we will work with all Nigerians in 2012 because this is a new government, not completely new because I was the vice president of the former government before I took over to complete the four years.”
But, he said: “I promised Nigerians a lot of things and in 2012 we are going to start with a fresh budget. The budget I took over from in 2011 was a transitional budget. This is the first budget that will be built on our vision and commitment for this country and God willing we will follow it to the letter and with your cooperation and prayers, this country will begin to witness things differently.
The journey will be tough
“The journey will be tough, it’s not going to be too painful anyways because I also know that leaders who bring pain on the people always end up badly. Leaders who think they are so powerful always end up badly and no leader will wants to be reckoned with as one who brought pain to the people. We are all writing our history. Whatever you sow as a leader even if you are dead and gone, the story will be told how you brought pain on the people. So nobody will bring pain on Nigerians.
“So our commitment is that by May 29, 2015, Nigerians will look back and say we made the right choice by voting for people who have done well for us. Because we have also looked at the elections, our court processes have affirmed that it was an election all of you worked for, the first time we will conduct election with minimal controversies.
“Of course, there were crises but we knew why they came up, it was not because of the elections. The day the Supreme Court was to deliver judgment in the 2007 elections where I was the Vice President, that day I didn’t go to work, I sat and watched the proceeding because four of the judges were for us, three were against us. It was too close for comfort or like some people would say too close to call.
“But in this case, all the judges were for us right from the Appeal Court to the Supreme Court, they said our opponent had no case. That shows clearly Nigerians voted for us. The people put us there and in the next three years we must satisfy the people. There will be no excuse not to satisfy the people. So that this your vision ‘my year of blessings’ will come to pass.
Earlier in his sermon, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Garki, Abuja, Rev. Dr. Israel Adelani Akanji, who is also the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Abuja Chapter, took his text from Isaiah 43:18-19, and asked Nigerians to forget the former things because God will do new things in the lives of Nigerians and in the country Nigeria.
Noting that God’s power is made manifest in difficult situations, Jonathan vowed that “those who out-match our nation are no match for God. God will out-match and dislodge them before our very eyes.” He assured that God is going to dislodge all the forces that stand against the progress of Nigerians.
Prayers were offered for the peace, prosperity and progress of the nation, and wisdom for the President to steer the ship of state successfully.