An embarrassing power outage took place during the Easter message of President Goodluck Jonathan at the Our Saviour’s Church (Anglican Communion), Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, and making him experience a dose of the epileptic power supply in the country.
The power outage occurred six minutes into the President’s nine-minute speech, causing him to use a battery-powered microphone for the remainder of the time.
It was the second power outage during the service which also had former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon in attendance, the first one occurring a few minutes before the President mounted the podium.
Jonathan, however, smartly turned the situation into a material for a joke, saying the power was deliberately put out to remind him of the urgent need to tackle the problem in the country.
“They know that I’m here; that’s why they took light, at least to remind me that I must not sleep until we stabilise power. God willing, next year they will not take light,” Jonathan said.
He assured Nigerians that the country would survive the incessant terrorists’ attacks and other challenges facing it.
President Jonathan then thanked Christians for their prayers which he said had helped to keep Nigeria united as a nation.
He said, “I sincerely thank all of you and all the Christians in Nigeria for your prayers. It would have been worse if you have not been praying. This country has passed through a lot. I know all those last days of military transition to the regime that handed over power to Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo at the time the country was drifting, it didn’t know where it was going.
“We had political environments that we didn’t even know where we were transiting to. But with the persistent prayers by you, Christians, God stabilised the country. God will continue to stabilise this country. God will continue to keep us together. I promise you as a mortal, I will do my best.”
He urged Nigerians to live within peace and love, while reiterating Gowon’s famous civil war quote, saying “to keep Nigeria as one is a task that must be done.”
He added that the barrage of terrorist attacks would not divide the country, and that his government was working tirelessly to ensure that the insecurity becomes a thing of the past.
He said, “We have our challenges as a nation in these days of terrorism. It’s quite sad. I can assure you that we are working very hard and we will continue to work very hard and God willing terror attacks will not divide this country.
“We have our challenges as a nation but we must go to where we want to go. As the president, by the grace of God and your good will, I promise, I will do my best. I will not disappoint Nigerians within limitations of our resources. We will fix our infrastructure.”
Gowon, while speaking to journalists after the service, urged Nigerians to continue to live in peace, even as he backed Jonathan’s stand on not granting amnesty to Boko Haram members.
He said, “If it is something that can bring about the peace and understanding, then why don’t we pursue it. It is an opportunity, but as Mr. President says, let us know who are the leaders that will come out to accept the amnesty on behalf of other people.”