President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja urged all citizens to embrace the reality that Nigeria must exist and continue as one nation, insisting that the country needs all its human and material resources to succeed.
This is coming on the heels of the call by former head of state, retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar, for an end to the spate of hostage taking, cattle rustling and other heinous crimes in the country.
Buhari, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made the remark while receiving residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who paid him homage at the Presidential Villa on the occasion of Eid-el-fitr celebration.
The statement said Buhari appealed to Nigerians to work towards salvaging the nation from the shackles of past wrongs, by not only sharing in the collective vision for a greater Nigeria, but also contributing individually, to realise the goal.
“We have no other country than Nigeria. We may as well stay and salvage it together,’’ he was quoted as saying.
Buhari who was glad that he successfully completed the Ramadan fast, recalled that he could not participate in last year’s Ramadan because of his health challenges.
The statement also said Buhari advised religious leaders, traditional rulers, security chiefs and top government officials to start expanding the frontiers of development by sensitising their “constituencies’’ to work harder for the collective good of the country.
“Please try to persuade your constituencies to work harder for the greatness of this nation,’’ he was further quoted.
According to the statement, Buhari who said Nigeria was blessed with enormous human and material resources, added that such potential could be harnessed for the greater good of everyone.
It also said the president commended former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, for the efforts in discovering and repositioning Nigeria’s mineral potentials.
“I hope Fayemi will succeed in the elections and lead Ekiti State. He is hardworking and patriotic, but Nigerian politics can be unpredictable,’’ Buhari was also quoted said.
According to the statement, the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello, in his remark, said the period of Ramadan provided an auspicious opportunity to pray for the nation, and the wellbeing of the President and his family.
It also said representative of the Senate President, Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah, promised that the National Assembly would continue to support the vision of the government for a greater Nigeria.
It also said N’Allah observed that “no administration since 1999 had received more cooperation from the legislature like President Buhari.’’
The statement added that Buhari also received women groups led by his wife, Aisha Buhari, President of the National Council of Women Societies, Dr. Laraba Shoda, and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen.
Abdulsalami Wants End to Killings, Abductions, Cattle Rustling
Meanwhile, former head of state, retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar, yesterday in Minna, Niger State, prayed for an end to the spate of hostage taking, cattle rustling and other heinous crimes in the country.
Abdulsalami, who spoke at the Minna eid prayer ground after joining hundreds of Muslims to say the two rakkat prayer as part of activities marking the festival of ed-el- fitr, expressed hope that peace will return to the country.
“I do hope all human beings will take the lesson of the fasting period to serve God and be each others’ keeper and also to maintain peace all over the world. I hope peace will reign in Nigeria, so that these problems we are going through- kidnapping, hostage taking and cattle rustling – will come to an end.”
The former head of state challenged Nigerians to continue to live in peace with one another for the socio economic development of the country.
Also speaking after the prayer, the acting governor of Niger State, Alhaji Muhammed Ahmed Ketso, charged Nigerians to “remain peaceful, united and show commitment to our dear country Nigeria”.
Aside Abdulsalami, some other prominent people at the Minna eid prayer ground were the emir of Minna, Dr. Umar Farouq Bahago; Mohammed, son of former military president Ibrahim Babangida and the PDP chairman in the state, Tanko Beji.