Power supply to the church auditorium went off about six minutes into the President’s speech and lasted till he ended the message.
The President used battery-powered microphone to continue his speech which lasted for nine minutes, 40 seconds.
Jonathan, however, made a joke of the situation, saying the power was deliberately put out in order to remind him of the urgent need to tackle the problem in the country.
“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,” Jonathan said.
He thanked Christians for their prayers which he said had helped to keep Nigeria united as a nation.
“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.”
He urged Nigerians to “live within peace and love,” while reiterating Gowon’s famous civil war quote, saying “to keep Nigeria as one is a task that must be done.”
He said the deluge of terrorists’ attacks facing the country would not divide it, adding that his government was working tirelessly to overcome the challenges.
Jonathan 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.”
Speaking to journalists after the service, Gowon urged Nigerians to continue to live in peace. Gowon backed Jonathan’s stand on not granting amnesty to Boko Haram members.
He said, “If it is something that can bring about the peace and understanding, then why don’t we pursue it. It is an opportunity, but as Mr. President says, let us know who are the leaders that will come out to accept the amnesty on behalf of other people.”