President Goodluck Jonathan has again pushed forward the timeline for his administration’s pledge to deliver improved power supply, telling Nigerians Sunday they would continue to live with epileptic electricity supply at least until 2014.
Mr. Jonathan made the comment on Sunday after his Easter message at Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, was interrupted by power outage.
Electricity went off midway into the president’s 10-minute speech, and he was thereafter handed a battery-powered microphone to continue.
In response to the development, Mr. Jonathan expressed the hope that the country would put the problem of epileptic power supply behind it by 2014. He was however not definite about it.
“They know that I’m here; that’s why they took light, at least to remind me that I must not sleep until we stabilise power. God willing, next year they will not take light,” Mr. Jonathan said into the battery-powered microphone as a former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and other worshippers looked on.
The president’s declaration on Sunday suggests the country might know no end to the poor electricity supply situation that has crippled it for years.
Mr. Jonathan’s administration has made countless promises and set several deadlines to arrest the tide, and on each occasion, it has failed to deliver.
As recent as January 24, Mr. Jonathan said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour electricity would be “relatively stable” before end of 2013.
“This is one thing that even if you have the money and the political will you cannot do it over night. So we are working very hard to make sure before the end of this year power supply is relatively stable,” the president said when Ms Amanpour asked him about the nauseating electricity supply power level in the country.
On August 28, 2012, Mr. Jonathan assured Nigerians they would feel the full impact of his government’s achievements by 2013.
Speaking at the 52nd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, the president described himself as “the most criticised president in the world,” saying by 2013, he would be the “most praised” in the world.
At the Easter event in Lagos, the president again assured that the country would overcome its current challenges and urged citizens to continue to pray for the country, even as he reminded worshippers of Mr. Gowon’s famous civil war quote, “Keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done”.
The president said, ““We have our challenges as a nation in these days of terrorism. It’s quite sad. I can assure you that we are working very hard and we will continue to work very hard and God willing terror attacks will not divide this country.
“We have our challenges as a nation but we must go to where we want to go. As the president, by the grace of God and your good will, I promise, I will do my best. I will not disappoint Nigerians within limitations of our resources. We will fix our infrastructure.”
“I sincerely thank all of you and all the Christians in Nigeria for your prayers. It would have been worse if you have not been praying. This country has passed through a lot. I know all those last days of military transition to the regime that handed over power to Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo at the time the country was drifting, it didn’t know where it was going.
“We had political environments that we didn’t even know where we were transiting to. But with the persistent prayers by you, Christians, God stabilised the country. God will continue to stabilise this country. God will continue to keep us together. I promise you as a mortal, I will do my best.”