President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has felicitated with all Christians in the country as they join their counterparts worldwide to begin the observance of Lent for the year 2015.
The president, in a statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Reuben Abati, said as they undergo the rites of the 40-day Lenten season, which started yesterday, Ash Wednesday, to Easter Sunday, with constant prayers, penitence, fasting and self-denial, they should remember to pray fervently for peaceful, violence-free and successful general elections in the country on March 28 and April 11, 2015.
The statement reads in part: “The President also seizes the opportunity of the commencement of Lent to call on all political leaders in the country, Christians and non-Christians alike, to rededicate themselves to the commitment they have made to peaceful, non-violent campaigns and elections, and do their utmost best to ensure that their supporters across the country uphold that commitment.
“In the spirit of that commitment, President Jonathan further urges all those seeking political office in the coming elections to eschew hate speech, incitement to violence, divisiveness and the malicious denigration of opponents.
“He urges all political parties in the country to join the federal government in giving the fullest possible support and cooperation to INEC to ensure that it delivers free, fair and credible elections.
“As they observe Lent, President Jonathan urges the Christian community to reflect more on all the ideals of human existence taught by Jesus Christ during his ministry on earth.
“He calls on Christians to make those ideals, including piety, love for others, tolerance, humility, selfless service to others, honesty, fairness, justice and equity more manifest in their daily lives”.
President Jonathan concluded by praying that God Almighty will answer the prayers of all Nigerians and bless the country with successful elections, continued unity and further progress.