His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
Occasion of “A Day with Jesus for Nigeria in Israel” at the
Israel International Conference Centre, Jerusalem
Sunday 26th October, 2014
1. I welcome you all, to the second edition of “A Day with Jesus for Nigeria in Israel”. It gives me great satisfaction that you have made it possible for us to have another strong programme, built into our Christian Pilgrimage tradition, thereby helping to enhance the essence of Christian Pilgrimage at this time.
2. This tradition of periodic detachment from the cares and worries of our everyday life to seek in prayers, the face of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, concerning our Nation is an act in supplication to the Almighty God.
3. Let me at this point appreciate the government and the people of the state of Israel for providing the enabling environment for this event. I also commend the commitment of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, which from modest beginnings, as a Commission, has worked hard for a balanced ecumenism. Today, with relentless innovation, the Commission has continued to bring out the essence of our Christian faith, in facilitating our contribution to Nation building. We have been called to serve our people at various levels and we must do so with God who made it possible.
4. As we take steps in doing the work we have been assigned, I have deep spiritual confidence in the triumph of our Nation over the perils and challenges of today, and the eventual incapacitation of the “troublers” of Nigeria, in the presence of our prayers.
5. This is why we are further compelled, to invest in our nation’s future, by not only transforming every sector of Nigeria, but making deliberate efforts to strengthen the ligaments of our unity, by fortification in effervescent prayers with all our people.
6. Personally, I continue to draw strength from your prayers, and the experience of God’s Presence which we encountered when we came here together, for the first time, last year. Today, I am deeply encouraged, that the spirit of our togetherness, and the efficacy of our supplications, has continued to strengthen.
7. These experiences reinforced my belief that the things that bind us together as a nation are stronger than any that may tear us apart. We came together and fought the Ebola epidemic, cooperating with the guidelines of the medical professionals on hygiene routine, sensitivity to early warnings and symptoms of the disease. Together, we worked as a nation, united in our common resolve to defeat a threat and we succeeded!
8. I am happy to report that the World Health Organisation (WHO) now recognizes Nigeria as Ebola free. But I am even happier to say that, by the grace of God, Nigeria remains a success story and a shining example to the world on the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.
9. While we must feel proud as citizens for this citizen- inspired achievement, we cannot afford to lower our guard in action and in prayers as the disease is still raging next door.
10. The victory over Ebola is not only re-assuring but stands in firm confirmation of our united might as a people, against any confrontation, with the help of God. With the combination of prayers, unity and cooperation, we have overcome and we shall continue to overcome.
11. I trust God that as we continue to work together against the unique challenges confronting us as a Nation, He the Almighty God will also give us victory over internal insecurity and other challenges threatening our peaceful coexistence.
12. Let us pray in the confidence that the light of God is upon Nigeria, and demand as in ‘Lamentation3:37’, “Who is he that speaks against Nigeria and it comes to pass when the Lord has not commanded it”?
13. My dear fellow pilgrims, we have seen that indeed, God answers prayers. I urge you therefore, to commit our country into His care as you continue to pray. Let us stand firmly on His Word praying without ceasing, and believing Him to answer our prayers and entreaties. This is my article of faith!
14. I have three prayer requests for this year’s pilgrims. Please pray for peace and security for our country. Without peace and security, there can be no real development. I also urge you to pray for national unity. And pray that our commitment to develop the country is not hindered by any counterforce. If other countries can develop, we too can. We must work together to make Nigeria great. I see a new Nigeria emerging. A Nigeria that our children can be proud of; a Nigeria where things will work; a Nigeria that will have a good education system; a Nigeria that will have a good health system. I see a new Nigeria that will have food security; a Nigeria where we will have more houses for our people. A Nigeria where there is good infrastructure for our movement from one place to another. Above all, a Nigeria where we can live truly in peace and unity.
15. Of course, we know that this is a period of challenges. But it does not take a lifetime to solve problems. I believe that with prayers and unity, we shall overcome all challenges. We are mere mortals. As mere mortals we are not insulated from errors. There may be faults or failures. But one thing I know is that God will not allow me to do anything that will not be in the best interest of our country. With unity, we can do anything. The country was so united when we encountered Ebola. With God on our side, we were able to conquer Ebola virus. That singular act brought Nigeria to the limelight, even when CNN talks about Ebola, it makes reference to Nigeria’s success. That is what unity can do. With unity and prayer, we will get to where we want our country to go. My request is that you should all stand by the government. When you stand by the government just as you stood by us during the Ebola era, we will surely overcome our challenges.
16. Thank you once again and may God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.