Jonathan: “As a nation, we cannot afford to fail this New Year”

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the unfortunate events of 2020 should propel Nigerians to re-examine themselves, adding that “as a nation, we cannot afford to fail this New Year”.

Jonathan stated this in a New Year message titled, “2021 New Year Message” which he personally signed.

The former president said that as the beginning of a new journey, 2021 offers a fresh opportunity to start and recover from the losses of 2020, which he described as a “challenging year”.

Read full message below:

Happy New Year Dear Compatriots and friends across the world.

This is the beginning of a new journey, a new chapter, a fresh opportunity to start and recover from the losses of 2020.

Last year was a challenging year, characterized by tales of misfortunes, deaths and illnesses. It was a tough moment for many homes and families owing to the unfortunate #COVID-19.

The pandemic plagued our world with many consequences, causing hardship and other forms of insecurity.

2020 was a year of many challenges and struggles both as individuals and as a nation.  From #COVID-19 to #EndSARS protests, we witnessed disruptions in our cultures, economy, livelihoods and life itself.

These unfortunate events should propel us to re-examine ourselves, re-evaluate our priorities and commit ourselves to new norms, new cultures and new traditions.

The recent happenings in our world, specifically in our country Nigeria, should teach us new lessons. Lessons on faith, solidarity, justice, hope and peace.

We must aggregate these lessons, challenges, gains as well as losses of this period and harness them towards national rebirth and reconciliation.

As a nation, we cannot afford to fail this New Year; ignoring the existing gaps and contradictions that have continued to threaten our peace, unity and progress.

Going forward, we should retool our disposition to imbibe new ways and embrace new traditions.  Cultures that would correct the faultiness in our nation and promote peace, guarantee security and hope to all our people. We must prioritise such habits that entrench accountability, justice, and peace in our systems.

I commend all Nigerians for their patriotism and courage amidst  daunting challenges. I salute the sacrifices of all those in the frontline working tirelessly to ensure our safety and those who have remained committed to protecting our lives and defending our unity.

I commiserate with families who lost loved ones to COVID- 19 and other illnesses and circumstances in the year 2020.

No matter our present realities today – whether good, bad or ugly, sweet, sour or bitter, we must continue to hope and strive for greater honour and glory for ourselves and our nation in this new year and beyond.

I wish you all a Happy New Year as we journey into 2021.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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