He said his idea of anti-corruption war was not about arresting suspects and parading them on the television.
Jonathan spoke during a special New Year service at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Area 1, Garki, Abuja.
He admitted that the two main problems currently confronting the country were insecurity and corruption.
The President said his administration was making efforts to tackle the challenges.
He said, “There are two main problems confronting us as a nation: The issue of insecurity in the North where we have the Boko Haram terrorists and in the South where we have commercial kidnapping. The next thing that people worry about after security is the issue of corruption.
“We are coming out with programmes and plans to clean up. These are things that you don’t just use a magical wand to wave off, otherwise even before I became the President, there wouldn’t have been corruption in Nigeria.
“It is not just about shouting corruption. It is not about looking at one person, arrest the person and show him on television.
“It is about strengthening institutions and coming up with credible plans to make sure that anybody who gets involved with corruption, the system must have a way of detecting him and punishing him.
“Until you put such a system on ground, you cannot talk about eradicating corruption, you will just be celebrating corruption.”
On security challenges, Jonathan said the Federal Government was working hard to restore peace to the country.
He noted that the festive period had been relatively peaceful due to prayers and government’s efforts.
The President said, “You would have noticed that from Christmas to New Year, at least, it has been calm. It did not happen by accident.
“It happened because you have been praying for this country and the government has also been doing something. We do not need to announce what we are doing.
“With your prayers, we will surely get there. We will continue to come up with programmes that will help the ordinary people.
“The same way we won the war against Ebola, we shall win the terror war.”
Again, Jonathan described 2015 as a turning point in the history of the country because of the forthcoming general elections.
He said, “2015 is a turning point because of the elections. Some people will not mind if half of the country get burnt because of their ambition.
“I always say that we must have a country first, we must have a people first before talking about ambition.
“We must pray that God should give us the wisdom to do things with some decorum and we should not compromise the lives of the people for ambition.
“I always say that my ambition and the ambition of any politician for that matter, is not worth the blood of the smallest Nigerian.”
Jonathan argued that no nation could move forward without proper vision.
According to the President, before now the country had, at different times, been administered based on 25-year and five-year plans before the annual budget system was adopted.
He said after sometime, things collapsed and the government was being run on emergency basis.
The President said the old days when the government was run with vision would be revisited.
“For you to achieve anything, you must have a clear vision. Even if you look at what we have been doing as a nation, you will really see that before this time when the country used to have this 25 years plan, the budget was based on 25 years clear plan for the country. So you know where you are going for 25 years.
“Then it was broken down into five years plan and annual budget and we knew where we were going.
“But after some time, things collapsed and we run government on emergency basis and you see government start wobbling.
“We are going back to those good days when we had vision. We have plan for agriculture, we have plan for industry, we have plan for automobile and many other areas.
“If you have a vision, any proposal that comes in, no matter how good they are, must fall into your vision for it to go through. With your prayers, surely as a nation, we will get to where our vision will take us to.
“Having passed through school and being in government for quite some time, I have realised that for you to achieve anything, you must have a clear vision.
“If you have a clear vision, even if you don’t get the exact target, you will get something close to the target,” he added.
The church’s Senior Pastor, Dr. Paul Enenche, had in his sermon titled, “The life of vision,” pointed out to the congregation that how they began the New Year would determine how they would end it.
While saying that the quality of a foundation would determine the integrity of a building, Enenche said the quality of the year would be determined by the foundation laid by individuals.
He stated that a clear definition of a destination was a major requirement for a successful journey.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you may not like where you will end up. Vision is a clear picture of a preferred future. To live by chance is to end by chance,” the clergyman declared.
The pastor, however, said it was important for the people to follow the right principle if they must get the right result.
“God is not a respecter of persons. Either you know Him or not, if you follow the right principle, you will get the right result.
“Pastors go on holiday in Dubai without considering religion in as much as they get excellence. Nobody cares about your religion, sex or ethnic group, once you do it well,” Enenche said.
Jonathan was accompanied to the service, held under tight security, by his mother, Eunice; his children and top government officials.
The special service featured special prayers for the country, testimonies and special choir rendition among others.