ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – President Goodluck Jonathan has described himself as the luckiest Nigerian who has been taken care of by government for the past 16 years, adding that rather than regrets he is full of appreciation to Nigerians.
In addition, he has called on Nigerians to be ready to make tangible sacrifices and give the in-coming government the maximum support if they want the country to be like other developed countries, noting that it was individual sacrifice and not manner from heaven that made countries like China great.
Jonathan stated this when he had audience with Federal Capital Territory (FCT) residents led by Vice President Namadi Sambo, who paid the traditional Esther homage to him after church service.
He said having served the country as the deputy governor of his home state, Bayelsa, till when he became the country’s President, “I think it is enough.”
The President, who spoke after an emotional speech by Sambo, said he was yet to see any Nigerian who is as lucky as he is.
He said, “For me as an individual, this Easter coincides with the time I am leaving but I always say that I am one of the luckiest Nigerians. I am yet to see somebody luckier than me.
“From 1999, I was in the hands of government for 16 years. Not just in government as a parliamentarian because if you are a Senator or House of Representatives member, you take care of yourself, you live in your own house.
“I was in a cage, being taken care of by the government. From May 29, 1999 to date; 16 good years. I think it is enough and I am happy, help me to thank God for that.
“I will continue to thank Nigerians for giving me that privilege. I became a deputy governor because Bayelsans voted for me and my governor then. I became a Vice President because Nigerians voted for Yar’Adua and myself.
“I continued in 2011 because Nigerians voted for me and Architect Namadi Sambo. I have to thank all Nigerians. Wherever I will be, I will remain grateful to this great country. Today is a glorious day for me.”
Speaking on the significance of Easter celebration and the need for Nigerians to make sacrifice, President Jonathan said Easter, he added that sacrifice for the survival of the government was necessary irrespective of who is the President at a given time.
He said nation building depends on sacrifice and patriotism, noting that Nigeria currently has the lowest value added tax (VAT) charge of five per cent, wondering if Nigerians would be willing to support Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s government should he decide to increase VAT to 10 per cent. He said one cannot claim to support government when the person was defaulting on tax payment, adding that the government would surely collapse in no distant future.
He cited the examples of soldiers and policemen whom he said were dying daily in their fight against Boko Haram in order for others to live, insisting that though Nigerians don’t have to pay the supreme prize, they must make sacrifice to have a Nigeria of their dream.
“Thank you for this easter homage, is a period to reflect on the essence of our believe. Because we believe without the resurrection they wouldn’t have been christianity.
”Whenever we talk about this period, the key lessons there is sacrifice. Somebody sacrificed for our own salvation.
“So as a people, as a government what I always believe we should ask what sacrifice are you making. Now is not about supporting Jonathan or government, now Buhari is coming on board, it is not about supporting Burhari or government but what sacrifice as an individual are you willing to make for government and for the nation.
“If you are a businessman and you say you are supporting government but you don’t pay tax how do you expect that government to survive? That government will not survive”, he said.
Vice President Sambo used the occasion to commend Jonathan for conceding defeat in the last 2015 presidential elections, saying he not only made Nigerians proud but Africa and the world as well.
Sambo who said the last five years he served as Jonathan’s deputy, has been a learning one for him, describing the President as ”brother, friend and my teacher forever”, adding that he was proud to have served under Jonathan.
”We are very proud of your positive contribution to Nigeria, your action has saved Nigeria from crisis and made Nigeria pride of Africa and made you stand tall globally.
“With the contributions and actions you took, your name will be written in gold not only in Nigeria, but in Africa and world.
“For the five years I have been with you, this is the period one goes to school to get a degree, Mr. President I got P.hD from you. I’m forever loyal, we are a member of one family and will remain one family”, he said.
The Vice President told Jonathan that his aides and associates were very proud of the strong foundation he has been able to put in place for the development of this country.
Notable personalities among the delegation were,
Senator Philip Ajuda, Deputy Governor of Sokoto, Murktar Shagari; Head of Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi; Secretary of the Government of Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; John Cardinal Onaiyekan; Primate of Anglican Communion, Nicolas Okoh; Bishop John Praise; Bala Mohammed (FCT minister; Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, FCT minister of state; former minister of Information Labaran Maku, among others.
you may also like: