From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of the country as a united entity.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said this in his message to all Nigerians and Muslims across the globe as they mark the Eid al-Fitr following the completion of a month of fasting.
President Buhari said: ‘On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.
‘Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.
‘It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.
‘We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.
‘We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.’
According to the President, it is noteworthy and delightful to see Christians breaking fast and in some instances, extending goodwill and gifts to Muslim faithfuls during the Ramadan. ‘This model also shone through with Muslim groups joining Christian festivities. These are practices that promote brotherhood and forgiveness,’ he said.
President Buhari also urged Nigerians to continue to observe all COVID-19 prevention measures and celebrate responsibly during the holidays.