Vanguard (Lagos)

13 January 2014

Nigeria: No Ambition Is Worth the Blood of Nigerians - Jonathan

Photo: Vanguard
Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria

Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said that no Nigerian should kill or maim himself or herself because of his presumed 2015 second term ambition, saying that "any ambition I have at any time is not worth the blood of Nigerians."

Meanwhile, President Jonathan has told the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur that he would require the support of every Nigerian, not only him (Tukur), to win the 2015 election if he would contest the election.

The President stated this at a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo, Tukur, and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC.

Jonathan spoke on the need for peace in the PDP and warned that accusations and counter accusations must stop.

He also said that he would "never, ever expect a Nigerian to spill a drop of his blood because Goodluck Jonathan has some ambitions. Nigerians should always preach peace and unity in all their engagements. This is the only way the country will achieve greatness."

Speaking at a special church service to mark this year's Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Jonathan reminded politicians that no ambition was worth the blood of innocent Nigerians, adding that if we continued to kill ourselves, there would be no nation to govern.

He said: "Sometimes I get worried and embarrassed when I hear provocative statements that come from very senior citizens; people that ordinarily will be perceived as senior citizens, who ordinarily should know that the unity of this country is more important than the interests of any individual or a group of individuals. And that the peace of Nigeria is more important than any interest of individuals or group of individuals. Some people even encourage young people to take arms and fight themselves.

"I always say as a politician that I pray all politicians should know that there will be no nation if we kill ourselves. If you want people to come out and vote, why do you threaten them? If you threaten people they will stay in their houses and how will you win election?

"In an occasion like this, we should also admonish ourselves that we should preach peace and unity in all our conversations. If we do that all our problems will be resolved, our security issues will be resolved. If all of us collectively talk about the unity of this country, about peace in this country, then our country will progress and move in the direction we want the country to move."

The president noted that this year's remembrance celebration was unique as it was coming at a time that the country is celebrating its 100 years of existence as a nation.

He paid tributes to members of the Armed Forces, saying that their sacrifices had ensured that Nigeria remained one indivisible country, despite the challenges it had faced.

"The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is unique and this year's programme is more unique because first January marks 100 years of our existence as a nation. It is not easy to get here. The country faced a lot of challenges no doubt about that. Some of us witnessed the civil war.

For us who have survived this 100 years, some people paid dearly for it, some people worked for it like the armed forces. We know the challenges they faced during the civil war. But for their sacrifice, Nigeria would have been more than one nation. They worked for it, some died in the process while some died serving in wars outside Nigeria.

These are the people that we are remembering today. We all have to emulate them. Those of us who are alive, what we can do to honour them is to ensure that whatever we do, whatever we say, whatever song we sing is a song that will bring peace and unity to this country."

Earlier in his message, the Arch Bishop of the Abuja Diocese of the Methodist Church, Arch Bishop Job Ojei, who read from Hebrew 11:13. And 2 Timothy 4:7, called on Nigerians to stop making "unedifying utterances that will weaken those in leadership" while those who are power drunk should be rebuked.

"All politicians should give us peace of mind. Some of the utterances we hear from them make us begin to fear. If you need our votes don't threaten us. If you continue to threaten us no body will come out to vote. Leave 2015 alone. God will take care of it. By hating other tribes or other religion, you will never eliminate those tribes or religion. By causing trouble for a particular religion will not eliminate any religion. God knows why he allowed the existence of other tribes and religion. Every religion is meant to build up the nation," he said.

While paying tribute to the fallen heroes, the Methodist bishop called on government to look after members of the. Armed forces and the family of those left behind by the fallen heroes.

"Some of the fallen heroes did not only fight for the survival of this country but of other African countries and beyond. The fallen heroes and their blood was to keep Nigeria one. We should always remember them and especially those who are still in service. Nigeria must take good care of them.

They have given us some respite from the Boko Haram attacks. We must acknowledge what has been achieved in the aviation sector, the power sector, by reducing unemployment, by not recruiting thugs and hired assassins. We must stop unedifying utterances that will weaken those in leadership but we must rebuke those who are power drunk" he said.

The first reading was taken by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika while the second reading was taken by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Those in attendance were the service chiefs, the president of the senate, David Mark, the chairman of the board of trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, the mother of the President, Eunice Jonathan, Anyim Pius Anyim, among several others.

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