The President asked Nigerians not to let terrorists cause ethnic divisions.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday urged Nigerians to rededicate themselves to living in peace and oneness with members of their communities no matter their ethnicity, religious beliefs, or places of origin.
The president made the plea in his Easter message to Nigerians in Abuja, which was released by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati.
“Irrespective of our religion or faith, all holidays provide us with a fresh opportunity to establish stronger bonds with our family, friends and all those around us for more enduring, harmonious and beneficial relationships.
“By now, it ought to be an accepted fact amongst us that our immense potential for greatness in the comity of nations derives in the main from our collective strength as a country of close to 170 million people and the acclaimed richness of our diverse human resources and natural endowments.
“It follows, therefore, that to successfully achieve our vision of becoming one of the most dominant nations on the global stage in the shortest possible time, we must stay together as a people,” the president said.
The president said the people must also continue to effectively resist the evil machinations of global terrorists and their misguided domestic accomplices, “who seek to provoke turmoil, hatred and harmful divisions among us”.
He said that the security agencies, armed forces and the administration would continue to discharge their constitutional responsibilities to protect the unity and territorial integrity of the country with all the powers and forces at their disposal.
“We must have peace, security and stability to effectively implement our agenda for national transformation in parts of the country.
“We shall continue to work ceaselessly to re-establish the prerequisite conditions for nationwide progress and development,” he said.
The president called on the people to continue to show restraint and understanding in the face of provocation.
“Those who mindlessly and indiscriminately attack churches, schools, health workers, motor-parks, banks and ordinary road users must be seen as they truly are: the brainwashed pawns of international terrorism.
“They do not represent any true religion or section of the country and we must never play into their hands by succumbing to their nefarious ploys to incite religious, ethnic hatred and division among us,” he said.