Jonathan made the call at the 5th National Prayer Breakfast, organised by the National Assembly with the theme: “God in the life of national leaders for development.”
The president, who was represented by the Minister of Labour, Mr Emeka Wogu, also urged the leaders to always “seek the face of God in every decision or policy they make”.
“In a secular setting like Nigeria, Christian leaders in all tiers of government must seek the face of God in the discharge of their duties whether in the executive arm, the legislature or the judiciary,” he said.
According to him, in the bible, there are several principles that touch on the importance of love, adding that love is an essential ingredient in powering positive transformation of the nation.
He also stressed the need for leaders to formulate policies for the best interest of “every citizen” and not based on political alliances.
“Leaders are enjoined to come with policies and programmes that will benefit the poor and the voiceless in the society.
“As Christian leaders in government, we are enjoined to discharge these duties in line with biblical injunctions.”
The president, who emphasised the need for leaders to be forthright, also called on the citizens to be responsible and respect constituted authorities.
“The citizens have a reciprocal injunction in respect to obedience to constituted authority.
“This is clearly stated in 1 Peter 2:13 which talks about submission to authority.”
He said the current administration, through the transformation agenda, was working tirelessly to improve the welfare of the citizens and urged Nigerians to support the government.
In a goodwill message, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Tamrat Admassu, who stressed the importance of love, said that the substance of the prayer breakfast was love.
According to Admassu, as long as Nigeria puts Jesus in the centre, all the challenges of not just Nigeria, but Africa as well will be resolved.
Earlier in a keynote address, Pastor John Enelamah said that development could not occur automatically unless human beings took full responsibility and worked hard for what God had given them.
Enelamah said it was important for leaders and all Nigerians to accept the principles of God as a way of life.
He said the current leaders in Nigeria should know that their position was an opportunity from God and advised them not to waste it but use it wisely to the glory of God.
He also said that since leaders were the driving force of a nation, it was important for them to leave politics as soon as elections were over and focus on governance.
The Senate President, David Mark, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, who were present at the event, read some bible lessons.
Many senators, members of the House of Representatives, the clergy and some diplomats also attended the occasion.
According to the organisers of the event, the event was aimed at communicating the power of parliamentary fellowship groups around the teachings of Jesus Christ.
It is also to create an environment of dialogue and lasting relationships, irrespective of political opinions and persuasions as well as encourage eating and praying together. (NAN)