President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged Nigerians not to allow those he described as a few mischief mongers to destroy the country’s unity.
Buhari also acknowledged the efforts of frontline health workers in the nation’s fight to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president, in his Easter message to Nigerians, issued in Abuja yesterday by his media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, commended law enforcement agents and military personnel, who continued “to confront evil-minded individuals through the darkest of nights to keep us safe.”
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, in a similar message, stressed the importance of peace and love in promoting national unity.
Buhari expressed the conviction that the new resolve of the security personnel to combat insecurity would be successful.
He said: “We should not allow the antics of a few mischief mongers to fragment the unity and faith that the vast majority of citizens of this country cherish and believe in. As I’ve said before, we are better and stronger as one nation under God.”
Buhari also acknowledged the sacrifices of doctors, nurses and other frontline health workers “who have made the difference in saving lives and ensuring the reduction of the spread of the virus.”
“I thank Nigerians who have religiously adhered to various interventions to curb the spread of COVID-19, including regular hand washing; safe distancing, wearing of face masks and embrace of vaccination. We are united in our belief that if we do the right things, take the right decisions and act responsibly, the pandemic, like others before it, will no longer be a threat,” he stated.
While rejoicing with Christians on the occasion of this year’s Easter celebration, the president stated that a year ago, “in most of our major cities, our celebrations were somewhat subdued, as we battled the effect of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
“The restrictions meant that our brethren could not attend traditional church services as they would have wished. I salute their resilience and understanding. Today, we are able to congregate and worship together, cautiously.”
The president described the season as an opportunity to renew hope and faith, show love and appreciation to one another and not to despair, no matter the challenges of the period.
“As a government, we will continue to ensure that the weak, the poor and the underprivileged in our midst are not abandoned.
“We have reached out with palliative care even in the midst of dwindling resources; we have tried our best to provide support to families and businesses affected at this time. That is the spirit of Easter; the spirit of faith; the spirit of belief; the spirit of hope.
“I congratulate our brothers and sisters once again on this occasion and wish everyone a Happy Easter celebration,” he added
Lawan Preaches Love, Hope, Tolerance
Lawan, in his message, felicitated with Nigerians, particularly the Christians, as they joined the rest of the Christian world in celebrating Easter.
Lawan urged Nigerians to use the occasion to preach religious tolerance, love for neighbours and commit to civic responsibilities.
According to him, building a great nation requires sacrifice, endurance and hope, especially in Nigeria where diversity in tongues and faiths make the task complex.
He assured the people that the National Assembly would continue to work for them, in their legitimate pursuit of peace, happiness and prosperity.
Lawan said: ”Easter is one of the most important events in the Christian calendar, which is to celebrate the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. With abiding hope in our manifest destiny of greatness, I believe we shall overcome the challenges and build the Nigeria of our dream.
“Let us also continue to support the government in its efforts to provide security and an enabling environment for economic growth and prosperity.”
According to him, the National Assembly has stayed focused on its legislative agenda and has been providing legislative support to government and its policies.
Lawan added that various committees of the National Assembly are working on many proposals for amending the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Reforms Act, as well as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), among others.