This Day (Lagos)

27 April 2014

Nigeria: Jonathan - Boko Haram Will Pay for Crimes Against Nigerians

Nigeria's finance minister said, the country is preparing a special development plan for its poor, violence-hit northeast and increasing spending to ... ( Resource: Nigeria Can Handle Boko Haram, Part Of 'raw Democracy', Says Minister

Africa will stand by Nigeria, Says President Yayi Jaiyeola Andrews President Goodluck Jonathan Saturday adopted a daring and more aggressive posture on the war on terror, insisting that the insurgent group, Boko Haram, must pay for the crimes they are committing against innocent Nigerians.

Jonathan spoke at the fourth annual presidential breakfast prayer held at the State House Banquet Hall in Aso Rock.

He said, "No matter what government does, we cannot recover the dead, but our promise is that all those who took part in that will pay dearly for it."

The president declared that the prayer session was dedicated to the victims of Boko Haram attacks and their families, stating, "Today our prayers are with the victims of Boko Haram and their families and loved ones. The last tragedy of these heinous ideology occurred while we were preparing to mark the resurrection of our Lord at Easter, bringing sorrow to many families.

"The government is offering all assistance to support the affected families as the security agencies work tirelessly to unravel the source of this evil and to forestall further senseless desecration of our homeland.

"But one thing we promise is that all those who took part in that act will surely pay for it. We must all come together and have faith to combat the ignorance and intolerance of criminals."

Urging the clergy and others at the breakfast meeting to continue in prayer for Nigeria, Jonathan said, "Your love for our country gives me hope and encouragement to do more for the good of our country. I urge you not to relent in your prayers and dedication because overcoming the present challenges we face may look impossible with men, but with God all things are possible. "This is clearly seen in the scriptures and this is my article of faith."

The president said he was optimistic that by the grace of God, Nigeria would overcome the menace of terrorism, stressing that the country's overall development will not be slowed down by the present insurgency.

But he said Nigerians must be more vigilant as well as cooperative and understanding to the security agents who are at the forefront of the antiterrorism war.

President Boni Yayi of the Republic of Benin, who gave a goodwill message at the event, prayed God to forgive those who abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno State. He said the criminals did not know what they were doing.

Yayi said his country, West Africa, and Africa would always stand by Nigeria, explaining that the country has a divine mission in the sub-region. He said Boko Haram insurgency must be exterminated in Nigeria.

Chaplain of the Aso Rock chapel, Venerable Obioma Onwuizurumba, while welcoming guests to the prayer session, noted that the breakfast was organised to celebrate Easter, thank God for His goodness in the past years, and ask Him for more grace for the years ahead.

Onwuizurumba stressed that the Jonathan administration had passed through difficult times. The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, read the only lesson at the meeting from Luke 13:31-33.

The guest speaker at the event and Director-General of the National Institute for Transformation, Professor Vincent Anigbogu, urged Jonathan not to be distracted by the prevailing threats to nation-building.

"All great visions for Nigeria must move forward; the threat of Boko Haram shall be insignificant. If your desire is to change this nation for the better, God will honour it," Anigbogu said, adding, "Many leaders faced similar challenges and overcame them. You are not alone. If they succeeded, you can succeed."

He advised Nigerians to be focused and firm, saying, "No single organisation can derail this country."

Those who attended the breakfast meeting included the governors of Anambra (Willie Obiano) and Akwa Ibom (Godswill Akpabio), the mother of the president, Mama Eunice Jonathan, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Ayim Pius Ayim, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, some members of the National Assembly, cabinet members, and traditional rulers.

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