This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Lent - Jonathan Lauds Nigerians' Prayers

Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan has commened Nigerians for their steadfastness and consistency in praying for the nation.

The president, while speaking at the Basilica of Grace, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, at the beginning of Lent, the 40-day fasting and prayer by Christian, said it was only that has been able to sustain the country.

"I want to thank all Nigerians for praying steadfastly for the nation. Indeed, your prayers continue to help us in our efforts to make this nation a better place, and I urge you to continue," he stated.

Accompanied by his wife, Patience and his mother, Mrs. Eunice Jonathan, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the president said Lent is important because it helps Christians to reflect on their lives and seek God through active sacrifice of fasting and praying.

Earlier, the Primate of the Anglican Church, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, said every Christian should take Lent seriously because of the virtues of humility, sacrifice and love for others which the exercise teaches.

In another development, the president has sent a letter of appreciation to the Chairman of Arik Air, Chief Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, for providing the aircraft that brought the national football team, the Super Eagles, from South Africa after the African Cup of Nations 2013.

In the letter, President Jonathan said, "Your very kind gesture of providing the aircraft that brought our gallant and victorious team and officials back home from South Africa was an act of high patriotism worthy of note."

He expressed confidence that Arumemi-Ikhide "will continue to avail the nation of your worthy endowments in the future."

"The president challenged 'others to emulate your demonstration of enduring faith in Nigeria."

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