PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to pray against banditry, kidnapping and religious division in the country.
Buhari said this in his Eid message to Nigerians posted via a series of tweets by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, on Wednesday.
The president prayed for peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.
“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,” Buhari said.
He noted that Nigerians must resist the temptation to retreat into their respective communities, charging political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage citizens of Nigeria to turn towards one another in love and compassion.
The president said it was noteworthy and delightful to see Christians breaking fast and extending goodwill and gifts to Muslim faithful during the Ramadan.
“This model also shone through with Muslim groups joining Christian festivities. These are practices that promote brotherhood and forgiveness,” said Buhari.
Having placed restrictions on public gatherings and ban pubs across the country, the president urged Nigerians to continue to observe all COVID-19 prevention measures and celebrate responsibly during the holidays.
Insecurity has been a major challenge in Nigeria for over a decade.
The president has increased funding for the military and changed security heads in the country, but the challenges persist.
The capacity of the Buhari administration to decisively tackle insecurity in Nigeria has been questioned by critics, with some advising him to seek help.
Minister of Information Lai Mohammed said that the Federal Government possessed the capacity to end insecurity in Nigeria, but the menace has persisted in the country.