He stated this on Wednesday while receiving the 2013 Africa Peace Award from the United Religions Initiatives (URI) at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mr. Jonathan, who only returned to the country late Tuesday night after his pilgrimage and working visit to Israel and Palestine, maintained that for the nation to develop economically, all Nigerians, must embrace peace.
According to the President, dialogue remains the only effective tool for resolving crises anywhere in the world.
He also affirmed that in spite of the current security challenges, he would continue to do his best to ensure peace and stability in the country.
His words, “Even when countries are fighting, at the end of the day, they’ll still come to the dialogue table to resolve. They’ve hardly resolved through the barrel of the gun. Even with the most sophisticated weapons to fight, they‘ll 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 and 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.
“There is no way the government can perform magic when the people are shooting guns because economic growth and development is in the hands of the private sector. There cannot be economic development without peace”, he added.