The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has stated that Nigerians would need to make sacrifices to help General Muhammadu Buhari, the president-elect, if the country is to record any success in the transition period.
The president urged Nigerians not to revolt or grumble excessively if General Buhari makes administrative decisions that might be seen as inconveniencing for the polity.
Speaking at the presidential villa in Abuja, the president said: “Now, Buhari is coming on board; it is not about supporting Buhari or government, but what sacrifice, as individuals, are you willing to make for government and for the nation?”
“In the ECOWAS sub-region for example, Nigeria has the lowest VAT, other countries pay up to 12 percent.
“If for instance, Buhari decides to increase VAT from 5 to 10 percent, will Nigerians support him? That is sacrifice, and we must make sacrifice.”
“If you are a businessman and you say you are supporting government, but you don’t pay tax; how do you expect that government to survive? That government will not survive.”
“To me, whenever I travel to different countries and see things work, those things didn’t fall down as many people made sacrifice.
“Therefore, in Nigeria, people must also be ready to make the required sacrifice. Whoever becomes president is immaterial so long as the citizens are happy; our children go to school, when they are sick, they go to good hospital and of course, the economy blossoms.
“Nation building depends on the sacrifices of individuals and the patriotism of the citizens. These are two key elements.
“We are talking about Boko Haram or terror; soldiers are dying for us to live, police are dying for us to live. That is sacrifice. As individuals, you don’t need to die, but there are various roles you need to play. You must make sacrifice.
“The economy of China was threatened, but they locked up themselves for a period of time. And by the time they opened their doors, they become even a threat to the biggest economy.
“Are we ready for that kind of sacrifice for the government? Whenever we talk of Easter, these are the key lessons of sacrifice.”
The president reminisced about his years of service from being the deputy governor of Bayelsa State to being the nation’s number one citizen and said: “I think it is enough”.
“For me as an individual, this Easter coincides with the time I’m leaving. But I always say that I’m one of the luckiest Nigerians. I’m yet to see somebody luckier than me. From 1999, I was in the hands of government for 16 years.
“I was in a cage, being taken care of by the government. From May 29, 1999 to date; 16 good years! I think it is enough and I am happy. Help me to thank God for that …Today is a glorious day for me.”