President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday re-echoed his earlier advice to politicians to avoid sowing the seed of discord and hatred through their utterances ahead of the 2015 general elections.
He also reminded opposition politicians that Nigeria does not belong to anyone and cannot be considered anybody’s personal estate.
Speaking at a special Christmas service at St. Mathew’s Anglican Church in Maitama, Abuja, the president reminded politicians of the need to base their campaigns strictly on developmental issues and nothing more.
The president said he was always embarrassed by divisive utterances made by some politicians, noting that those involved in such do not mean well for the country.
“As a politician, you want people to elect you to perform your responsibilities. If you mean well for the country, you wouldn’t be fanning the embers of discord and hatred.
“Nigeria is nobody’s personal estate, but you want to serve. If the people want you to serve, you serve. But if they say no, then leave.
“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.
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.”
Mr. Jonathan thanked religious leaders and followers for their continued prayers for peace and unity for the country especially during 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 epitomise.
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, 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 peoples’ 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, Mr. 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.