President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday said despite his desire to transform the country, his government could not perform magic in an atmosphere of violence.
He said economic development could not be achieved in a nation devoid of peace.
Jonathan spoke shortly after he was conferred with the 2013 Africa Peace Award of the United Religions Initiatives at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President also said for the country to witness economic development, there must be internal democracy and stability.
“There is no way a government can perform magic when people are shooting gun. There cannot be economic development without peace. For you to develop economically there must be peace and political stability. Government creates conducive environment for private sector to thrive and create jobs,” he said.
He also stressed the need for African leaders to continue to govern their countries in the right way.
While dedicating the award to Nigerians, who he said gave him the opportunity to serve, Jonathan called on Nigerians especially youths to give peace a chance.
Jonathan said he and his government were fully committed to a peaceful world.
He said, “Even when countries are fighting, at the end of the day, they will still come to the dialogue table to resolve their differences. They have hardly solve crisis through the barrel of the gun, even if you had the most sophisticated weapon to fight, they will still come to negotiate otherwise you can never live in peace.
“So, let me call on all Nigerians especially the young people, if you come to the southern part of this country you hear about militancy, kidnapping and if you go to the North you have this issue of Boko Haram.
“For us to develop our country, we must all embrace peace.”
He promised to continue to work to foster peace in spite of the challenges facing the country.
The Regional Director of URI, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, said the award was in recognition of Jonathan’s contributions to religious harmony in Nigeria and peace keeping operations under the United Nations.
He said, “We have been following with great interest the great role the President play in his country, West Africa and Africa as a whole since he assumed office as President of Nigeria.
“We commend his leadership qualities in the West African sub-region in particular as ECOWAS Chairman and also lauded the current transformation agenda of his administration.”
Source: Punch Nigeria