President Goodluck Jonathan was on Thursday morning joined by family members, friends and aides to celebrate his 57th birthday.
The event was marked with a short Holy Communion service at the president’s official residence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Chaplain of the Presidential Villa Chapel, Ven. Obioma Onwuzurumba, officiated at the brief service.
Mr. Jonathan, who was joined by his wife, Dame Patience, and his mother, Eunice, later proceeded to cut his birthday cake.
Speaking after cutting the cake, Mr. Jonathan urged Nigerians to continue to join hands with him to move the nation forward.
He said “though we face challenges, we will surely get over them. Let us live together, work hard together and pray together.
“No one individual or group of individuals can hold this nation to ransom. Let us be together and work hard, and pray to God and surely all of us will be saved.
“On behalf of my wife and family, let me sincerely thank all of you that have made this highly successful.”
Earlier in a short exhortation, Mr. Onwuzurumba said God’s hand was on the President, adding that there was nothing opposition could do to a man bearing the hand of God.
He added that there would always be opposition, but once God had chosen a man, He would protect him.
The chaplain noted that God who called the president from a remote tribe would give him valiant men, whose hearts were right with God to work with him.
Basing his sermon on the only lesson of the service drawn 1 Samuel 10:14 to 26, Mr. Onwuzurumba enjoined Jonathan to remain steadfast and focused in the task of transforming the nation.
He said that “as we gather this morning, it is my joy to know that God chose His Excellency to direct the affairs of this country and certainly there will be and always be opposition.
“One thing I know and I’m sure you’ll agree with me is that when God’s hand is upon a man, when God has selected you, it doesn’t matter from what stock he has come from, God will protect him.”
Special prayers were later offered for the President, his wife, family members and the nation.