By Olanrewaju Ajao President Goodluck Jonathan Sunday said President- elect, Muhammadu Buhari needs more prayers than him.
The President spoke at the 2015 presidential thanksgiving and inauguration service held at the National Ecumenical Center, Abuja.
The service had the theme; “give thanks in all Circumstances”.
Jonathan said he would on Friday after handing over to Buhari go into private life while General Buhari and Professor Yemi Osibanjo are coming into manage the country’s resources, hence the need to pray more for them to succeed.
“Pray more for the incoming government, we are going out to manage our private lives but they are coming to manage the nation’s wealth. All we need as Nigerians is unity and peace” he said.
President Jonathan explained that the service was actually for the incoming government, noting that he and his wife and other members of his cabinet were just there to say goodbye to Nigerians.
The event was also attended by Professor Osibanjo and his wife.
The President told the congregation that “in 2007, I was here just as you are (referring to Professor Osibanjo), the difference is that it was a handover from PDP to PDP, now it is between PDP to APC.
He therefore thanked Nigerians for their prayers which according to him have assisted greatly in major decisions he took while in office.
Professor Osibanjo accompanied by his wife during the service led in praise and worship songs in the three Nigerian major languages.
Osibanjo also prayed for God to grant mercy on the outgoing president and his family.
He prayed for the country that God will cause Nigeria to be what it was created to be as the new government takes over.
In his homily, Arch Bishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of Anglican Church if Nigeria extended gratitude to Nigerians whom he said were the actual winners in the just concluded elections.
Reverend Okoh who centred his message on forgiveness, and giving thanks to God said on the eve of leaving office, it was right for President Jonathan to reflect on what he has done wrong like King David in the Holy scriptures who would always seek for forgiveness from God.
“When we forgive ourselves and others, we set ourselves free”.
According to him, during the last election, many were offended in a costliest and toughest and most bitter campaign witnessed in the country.
Arch Bishop Okoh noted that while serving the country, God healed the outgoing President and his family many times when they were tired and stuck in taking different decisions.
He also prayed that God would heal Nigeria and rebuild relationships among Nigerians.
“God saved our country from the prophesy of doom that we would disintegrate. Mr President, you have a crown of compassion and love, not of shame.
“Nigerians, rejoice that we are not running helter skelter. Mr President, you’re leaving behind for Nigeria and Africa a new political attitude that the political ambition of anybody is not worth the blood of anybody.
“The peace we have will create enabling environment for the nation’s progress. The ability to accept defeat shows that there is life after State House . This peace is the capital we have for investment at the moment and we need to manage it carefully. We should pray for a united Nigeria, a country where every citizen will feel at home.”
Speaking further, he said “Nigerians hope for a more united country despite differences in religion and ethnicity.
“This is the basic agenda of the incoming government and the collective desire of all Nigerians.”
Arch Bishop therefore urged Nigerians remain patient with the incoming administration of Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
“We must be patient with the incoming government. Nigerians should avoid the syndrome of hosanna today, crucify him tomorrow.
He also pleaded with the incoming administration to complete all ongoing projects.
The first scripture was taken from Isaiah 62:1-7 and read by Senate President David Mark. It was followed by special songs from the Bayelsa and Port Harcourt men’s Ensemble and CAN mas choir.
The Second reading taken from the book of Luke 17:11-19 was read by Vice President elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo .
There were intercessory prayers for the family of the President elect and his vice, the executive, legislature and the Judiciary. Prayers were also offered church in Nigeria and the nation.
Also present were former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, former Bayelsa governor, Timipre Silva, Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh who led other service chiefs , former Minister of Petroleum, Professor Tam David West and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun.