President Goodluck Jonathan
Vincent Obia and Mohammed Bello
President Goodluck Jonathan Saturday asked Nigerians to continue to pray for the country and his administration, imploring them to also advise him whenever he is making mistakes.
Speaking at the annual convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) which ends today at the Redemption Camp, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,, Jonathan observed that it was too early for him to declare his intention to re-contest in 2015 presidential election.
“I request that you continue to pray for our country. All nations pass through challenges. As a nation, we are passing through our own challenges but there is nothing, and I repeat nothing, that is above the power of God. I am convinced that with our persistent prayers, we will surely overcome. For us, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to what is right, “ he said.
Imploring Nigerians to advise him whenever he is going wrong, the president said, “Whenever anybody sets out to do what is right, from history to date, the devil must find a way to stop it. But we will not give up. We will surely cross all the road blocks, we will surely cross all the barriers, God will take this country to where we should be.”
Recalling that at about this time two years ago, he sought the prayers of the congregation at the same church, he described his presence at the church once again as unique and special privilege.
“I considered this a unique and special privilege to be here with you for this special night that we are all here to pray for the forgiveness of our sins and for his blessings. We thank our leader, Pastor EA Adeboye and our mother for the good work God has been using them to do,” he said.
Attributing his election as President as a miracle, President Jonathan, however, insisted that it was too early for him to declare ambition for 2015.
“That I am here today speaking to this congregation as the President of Nigeria is a good example of what God can do because without his divine intervention, I wouldn’t have been here as president of this country. Of course, God works in a miraculous way.
“People ask me whether I am contesting election in 2015 and I say it is early to decide about election. I am here to thank my brothers and sisters for the prayers that you are offering for this country. With more prayers I am sure we will conquer devil,” he said.
Jonathan, who was at the camp to grace this year’s edition of the church’s annual Holy Ghost Congress, a week-long event that attracted Christian faith from across the country and the world, had visited the Redemption Camp last year while campaigning for the presidential election.
General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had prayed for him and laid his hands on him; a development which made world headlines, with the pictures adorning both the mainstream and social media.
Jonathan’ visit this time, on the fifth day of the congress, was to thank the Church for their prayers, seek more prayer for the country, ask for godly advice, and, of course, apologise for “backsliding” since after the 2011 religious event.
“When I was campaigning for election, I came to the camp and you prayed for me, and I succeeded,” the president said in a short address at the occasion.
He regretted, however, that “after the election, I began to backslide.” Jonathan said that with the prayers of the saints, Nigeria would overcome its various challenges.
He said men of God should continue to pray for the country’s leaders and “advise us when we are going wrong.”
The president acknowledged the positive influence of the Church on the Nigerian situation, saying the country has faced challenges that would have plunged some other countries into large-scale violence.
Jonathan said the country was making good progress in many spheres, particularly in the area of elections, stressing that the re-election of Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko is one of the illustrations of the progress on the path of credible elections.
In an apparent attempt to second guess insinuations that he had come again for prayer ahead of another presidential bid in 2015, the president who was also prayed for and laid hands on by Adeboye, said he was not at the camp on a campaign mission. Among dignitaries who also graced the congress on the day of Jonathan’s visit were Mimiko and his wife, wife of the Benue State governor, Mrs Yemisi Suswam, Lagos State deputy governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and wife of Kogi State deputy governor.