The President said this at the 2012 Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, organised by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Voice of Nigeria (VON).
Represented by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, Jonathan said that the present administration would not relent in its efforts to improve the standard of living of Nigerians.
According to the president, Nigeria’s challenges are not peculiar and insurmountable; they just require strong support and understanding from the citizenry to overcome them.
Jonathan said the Federal Government remained committed to the development of the economy for all Nigerians, irrespective of their status and religious backgrounds.
He urged Nigerians to use the season of Christmas to reach out to their compatriots who were in dire need of assistance, noting that Christmas was a period of love and faith.
In his Christmas message, the presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Bishop Mike Okonkwo, urged Nigerians to use the Christmas season to reflect on the challenges confronting the nation.
He, however, urged them to stop complaining about the difficulties but to keep faith with God as no situation was too big or difficult for Him to handle.
Okonkwo called on those in positions of authority to seek God’s favour at Christmas by impacting on the lives of the less-privileged in the society.
“God knows all the problems confronting us as individuals and as a nation; He will not abandon us if we truly seek his help.
“This is the time to sincerely return back to God with all our hearts, let us make up our minds to worship God in truth,” he said.
He prayed that God would touch the hearts of those carrying arms against the government and innocent civilians so that they would resort to better ways of expressing grievances.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that lessons at the event were read by the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, wife of the Benue governor, Mrs. Dooshima Suswam and Dr. Tom Adaba, among others.
Choral groups from the NTA, FRCN, VON and some churches in and around the FCT performed popular and special Christmas songs at the event.