By Abdullahi M. Gulloma
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed worries over unwarranted utterances by some politicians, saying they were fanning embers of discord and hatred among the citizens.
Speaking at a special Christmas service held at Mathew’s Anglican Church, Maitama, Abuja, he said: “As a politician that want to be elected, you just need to perform your responsibilities.
“So, I get embarrassed when we the politicians make provocative statements, statements that create division among Nigerians and that can set this country ablaze.”
He said further, “I don’t think that is what a leader should do; it is not the kind of seed a leader should sow.
“Those who take government by violence hardly end well; examples abound in some African countries.
“So, if a politician is interested in power at any level, you don’t sow seed of discord and enmity because it will consume you if you try to.”
Jonathan thanked religious leaders and followers for their continued prayers for peace and unity for the country, especially in this period.
He said the challenges facing the country could have been worse without their prayers.
While describing the security and economic challenges facing the country as temporary, the president assured that “God will surely see the nation through them.”
He urged Christians to continue to imbibe the virtues of peace, love, selflessness and tolerance which Christ epitomises.
The president was accompanied by the First Lady, Patience Jonathan; his mother, Eunice, and members of the Federal Executive Council.
The service, which was presided over by the Primate of the Anglican Church, Nicholas Okoh, was also attended by some past government officials including a former Minister of information, Prof. Jerry Gana.
The first lady read the first lesson drawn from Isaiah 9: 2, 6 and 7, while the president took the second reading from Hebrews 1:1 to12.
In a sermon titled “The Jewish Messianic Expectations and 2015 Elections”, Mr. Okoh cautioned that the 2015 election would be a critical period in the country.
He reminded political office seekers at all levels that Nigerians have expectations, which border on peace, freedom, security and general prosperity.
He, therefore, urged both serving and incoming leaders at all levels and arms of government to be guided by the people’s expectations in their decisions.
The clergy man also advised Nigerians to base their voting decisions on common good of all, noting that if they elect people that don’t care, their conditions would be worsened.
On the security challenges facing the country, Okoh emphasised the need for Nigerians to pray and work together to put “an end to the reproach”.
“We need to stop viewing security issues as politics. It is everyone’s duty to join in the fight against terrorism and rescue our nation,” he said.
The cleric also cautioned vandals of power installations and other national economic saboteurs to desist or face the wrath of God and that of the people.