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 I’ve been in a cage for 16 years –Jonathan

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PostSubject: I’ve been in a cage for 16 years –Jonathan   2015-04-06, 07:02

President Goodluck Jonathan on
Sunday looked back at his 16 years
in public service and concluded
that he was “in a cage” during the
But he was quick to admit that he
had yet to see anybody luckier than
he had been.
Jonathan spoke while receiving
residents of the Federal Capital
Territory who were led by Vice
President Namadi Sambo to pay
him Easter homage at the
Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said, “For me as an individual,
this Easter concides with the time I
am leaving(office) but I always say
that I am one of the luckiest
Nigerians. I have yet to see
somebody luckier than me.
“I have been in government for 16
years beginning from 1999. Not in
government as a parliamentarian
because if you are a Senator or
House of Representatives member,
you take care of yourself, you live in
your own house.
“I was in a cage, being taken care of
by government. From May 29, 1999
to date; 16 good years. I think it is
enough and I am happy.
“Please help me to thank God for
that. I will continue to thank
Nigerians for giving me that
privilege. I became a deputy
governor because Bayelsans voted
for me and my governor then
(Diepreye Alamieyeseigha). I
became a Vice-President because
Nigerians voted for
(Umaru)Yar’Adua and myself.
“I continued in 2011 because
Nigerians voted for me and Namadi
Sambo. I have to thank all
Nigerians. Wherever I will be, I will
remain grateful to this great
country. Today is a glorious day for
Jonathan said Nigerians should be
ready to make sacrifices for the
survival of the government at
every given time.
He said during his days as deputy
governor, he kept telling people
that what he needed was
patriotism and not loyalty.
The President cited the examples
of soldiers and policemen who,
according to him, are dying daily in
the fight against Boko Haram in
order for others to live.
He added, “So as a people, as a
government, what I believe we
should always ask is: ‘What
sacrifice are we making?
“Now, it is not about supporting
Jonathan or his government. Now,
Buhari is coming on board; it is not
about supporting Buhari or his
government but the sacrifice we
are willing to make for government
and for the nation?
“If you are a businessman and you
say you are supporting government
but you don’t pay tax, how then do
you expect that government to
“While in Bayelsa State as a deputy
governor, people used to come to
me to say ‘I’m loyal;’ but I always
tell them to say that they are
patriotic to the country.
“To me, whenever I travel out of
the country and see things work, I
tell myself that those things didn’t
fall down like manna; people made
sacrifices. Therefore, people in
Nigeria must also be ready to
make sacrifice.
“Whoever becomes President is
immaterial so long as the citizens
are happy: our children go to
school, the sick go to good
hospital and of course, the
economy is working. But for them
to take place, people must make
the required sacrifices.
“In the ECOWAS sub-region for
example, Nigeria has the lowest
rate of Value Added Tax which is
five per cent. Other countries in the
region pay up to 12 per cent.
“If for instance, Buhari decides to
increase VAT from five to 10 per
cent, will Nigerians support him?
That is sacrifice and we must make
“Nation building depends on
sacrifice by individuals and
“We are talking about Boko Haram
or terror, soldiers are dying so that
others can live, policemen are
dying while protecting us. These
people are making sacrifices. As
individuals we don’t need to die
but there roles we need to play
and one of them is to make
Jonathan cited the case of China,
saying when its economy was
threatened, the citizens locked up
themselves for a period of time.
He recalled that by the time they
opened their doors, the country
became a threat to the biggest
The President wondered if
Nigerians were ready for that kind
of sacrifice which, according to him,
is one of the key lessons of Easter.
Sambo, in his remarks, thanked
Jonathan for what he described as
The Vice President said by
accepting defeat in the last
elections, Jonathan had saved the
country and made it a pride of Africa
and a global star.
“For your contributions and actions,
your name will forever be in gold in
the history of the world ,” Sambo
The Vice President said he was
proud to remain the President’s
deputy, friend and brother.
He said since the five years he
spent with the President were
enough to obtain first and second
degrees in a university, he had
obtained Ph.D under Jonathan’s
“I will forever be loyal to you. We
are members of one family. We are
very proud of you. All Nigerians
appreciate the strong foundation
you have put in place,” he added.
A giant Easter greeting card was
presented to the President during
the event that was attended by the
deputy governor of Sokoto State,
Muktar Shagari; the Secretary to the
Government of the Federation,
Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; the
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja,
Cardinal John Onaiyekan; and the
Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican
Communion), Most Revd. Nicholas
The Head of Service, Danladi Kifasi;
the Minister of the Federal Capital
Territory, Bala Muhammed; the
Minister of State, FCT, Olajumoke
Akinjide; and the Chief Imam of
Abuja, Muhammed Musa were in
the delegation.
Nigerians’ll look for Jonathan
– President’s chaplain
Meanwhile, the Chaplain to the
President, Ven. Obioma
Onwuzurumba, has said that
Nigerians would still look for
He said this while delivering a
sermon titled “The Lord is risen
indeed” during the Easter Sunday
service held at the Aso Villa Chapel.
The cleric likened Jonathan to Jesus
Christ whose disciples, he said,
were not even convinced that he
was the messiah and that he would
The clergyman said, “This Jonathan
they did not want, they will look for
him. This Jonathan they despised,
they will look for him. They will
seek his advice. He is not Jesus but
he is like Jesus. I am not here to
praise him.
“The disciples did not have the
confidence that Jesus who did
many things in their lives and that
of the people was the messiah and
if indeed he would resurrect
Onwuzurumba argued that
irrespective of what anybody
would say, Jesus Christ resurrected
and is alive.
The first lesson of the service was
read by the chaplain’s wife from
Psalm 16:1 to the end while the
second lesson taken from Luke
24:13-35. It was read by the
Senator representing FCT, Philip
It service which also featured
special renditions and special
prayers was not attended by
Jonathan’s wife, Patience and his
mother, Eunice.
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