As Christians in Nigeria prepare to celebrate Easter, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on them to counter hate speech, corruption, and terrorism by showing love and working for peace and social justice.
The President made the call on Thursday in his Easter message during which he extolled the exemplary life of Christ and his teachings.
Noting that the death and resurrection of Christ mark the triumph of good over evil, he called for tolerance, forgiveness, and accommodation.
According to the President, the Holy Scripture affirms that happiness and fulfilment in life do not flow from acquiring the best things in life, but in being richer in a relationship with God and fellow human beings.
For the President, it is important to seize the opportunity offered by Easter “to deeply reflect on how every one of us can imbibe the profound teachings of Jesus Christ with renewed vigour”.
“In so doing and by placing the joy, comfort and happiness of others above ours, we will make a statement that vices such as, hate speech, bigotry, corruption, banditry and terrorism have no place in our nation. We must do all it takes to love our neighbours and display increased spirit of tolerance and accommodation,” President Buhari said.
The President praised those who “recognise and support” his administration’s “unwavering efforts to prevent the spread of conflicts in our communities; check wanton criminality and the taking of innocent lives; unite the country; and steer the ship of state to a steady path of economic growth, job creation and development”.
He, however, warned those who are out to disturb the peace and unity of the country that such activities would not be tolerated.
“While we enjoin law-abiding fellow compatriots to work for peace and social justice in our beloved country, let there be no doubt of our resolve to firmly resist others who may want to make cheap political capital out of current national security challenges,” the President said.
He also used the opportunity to defend his administration’s economic policies and their impact.
“Our programmes and policies in the last three years have resulted in bringing down the prices of staple crops; gradual improvement of road, rail and electricity infrastructure; and making Nigeria the preferred destination for investors,” he said.
“More than ever before, we are ready to consolidate on these gains and ensure that we improve the lot of our communities in the years ahead.”
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