President Goodluck Ebele A. Jonathan of Nigeria
By Ben Agande, Abuja.
President Goodluck Jonathan has called on christian in the country to use the period of Lent to pray for a successful and peaceful election.
In a message to christians to mark the Lenten period during which christian fast for 40 days, President Jonathan urged them to imbibe the virtues of lent.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati quoted the president as calling on all “political leaders in the country, Christians and non-Christians alike, to rededicate themselves to the commitment they have made to peaceful, non-violent campaigns and elections, and do their utmost best to ensure that their supporters across the country uphold that commitment”.
The statement reads in part: “As they undergo the rites of the 40-day Lenten season which runs from today, Ash Wednesday, to Easter Sunday, with constant prayers, penitence, fasting and self-denial, President Jonathan urges Christians in Nigeria to pray fervently for peaceful, violence-free and successful general elections in the country on March 28 and April 11, 2015.
“The President also seizes the opportunity of the commencement of Lent to call on all political leaders in the country, Christians and non-Christians alike, to rededicate themselves to the commitment they have made to peaceful, non-violent campaigns and elections, and do their utmost best to ensure that their supporters across the country uphold that commitment.
“In the spirit of that commitment, President Jonathan further urges all those seeking political office in the coming elections to eschew hate speech, incitement to violence, divisiveness and the malicious denigration of opponents.
“He urges all political parties in the country to join the federal government in giving the fullest possible support and cooperation to INEC to ensure that it delivers free, fair and credible elections.
“As they observe Lent, President Jonathan urges the Christian community to reflect more on all the ideals of human existence taught by Jesus Christ during his ministry on earth.
“He calls on Christians to make those ideals, including piety, love for others, tolerance, humility, selfless service to others, honesty, fairness, justice and equity more manifest in their daily lives.
“President Jonathan prays that God Almighty will answer the prayers of all Nigerians and bless the country with successful elections, continued unity and further progress”.
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