*Asks govt to give opportunities to the masses
By Olayinka Latona and Emmanuel Asuquo
The insecurity challenge facing the nation echoed in Lagos yesterday when former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told President Goodluck to provide security for Nigerians.
Blair also asked the Nigerian government to put opportunities in the hands of the masses.
But Jonathan said that there is hope for the country notwithstanding the challenges of the transformation programme of his administration.
Blair and Jonathan spoke at the opening ceremony of the Rock Cathedral Metropolitan Church of Christ, Lagos.
“There is need for safety and security of the people,”the former British prime minister said.
According to him, “the society flourishes when the people feel a sense of freedom, when they feel free and have sense of security.”
In apparent reference to the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, Blair said: “For total and stable national transformation to take place in any country, there is need for the people to be happy and the need for government to provide adequate power supply, construct new roads, eradicate polio, ensure job creation and do other things that make life meaningful.
“Nigeria should be hopeful because of its people; Nigeria will be built by the strength and dedication of Nigerians. There is no progress in the midst of violence. People of the same faith can come together, learn to love one another and see one another as humans”.
Jonathan, in his speech at the occasion, tasked Nigerians on the need to collectively work towards the attainment of peace in the country, adding that the country is in the process of attaining transformation.
The president described the present challenges confronting the nation as a sign of transformation.
Assuring that his administration will not rest in its efforts to ensure peace and tranquility in the country, he said transformation cannot be effective without passing through some challenges. According to him, challenges are a prerequisite for attaining total transformation.
Jonathan’s words: “Nigerians should be rest assured that whatever challenges we are experiencing now, there is always hope at the end of the tunnel. We will get over our challenges by God’s grace. Transformation is like a butterfly that passes through some stages which entails some pain. But let us be rest assured that the current discomfort that the nation is expressing now will soon be a thing of past.
There is hope for us. When we work hard we will have Nigeria of our dream”.The president appreciated the efforts of religious bodies in the country, and called on religious leaders to preach more of peace and love and shun violence and hostility.
Rev. Paul Adefarasin, Senior Pastor of the Rock Cathedral, said there was hope for Nigeria in spite of the challenges facing the country.
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