Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja lamented that Nigeria was filled with gloom following the protracted killings of innocent Nigerians as well as the menace of kidnap and other forms of violence in the country.
The president who made this remark in his Easter message as Christians across the globe celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this weekend, however, encouraged citizens to promote the bond of brotherhood and good neighbourliness expected from fellow citizens.
He charged Nigerians to resist attempts by those he described as bad elements in the society to break the existing chord of unity in communities, disclosing that from his interactions with security chiefs, governors and communities affected by violence, Nigerians remain united against the few who perpetrate evil.
According to the president, the federal government would deploy the powers within its reach to equip and mobilise security agencies to combat the menace of violence and stop the nation from being overrun by evil, assuring that the country would triumph in the end.
He said: “This should not be. We must reinforce the bond of brotherhood and good neighbourliness that citizens of a cohesive country must share. We must not allow the few bad elements in our communities to put asunder our communal tendencies and chords of unity.
“I know from my regular interactions with security chiefs, state governors, victims and members of communities caught up in the unfortunate cycle of violence, that Nigerians are united against the evil minority.
“This administration will do all it takes to adequately equip and motivate our armed forces and other law enforcement agencies to enable them successfully confront these security challenges. We will not allow merchants of evil and death to overwhelm the nation. Under my watch, the nation will triumph over them – terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and the like.”
The president said he felicitated with all Nigerians especially Christians on what he described as the glorious occasion of the celebration of Easter, which he also described as the most important event in Christian calendar.
According to the president, Easter commemorates God’s redemptive mission to humanity, the triumph of light over darkness as well as good over evil, pointing out that Easter period provides the opportunity to imbibe the virtues of Christ which he said was encapsulated in His love, sacrifice, humility, forgiveness and endurance in His earthly ministry.
He therefore appealed to all to use the opportunity of the celebration to show love and meet the needs of the less privileged in the society.
The president said: “I rejoice with all Nigerians, especially our Christian brethren on the glorious occasion of the celebration of Easter 2019. Easter is the most important feast in the Christian calendar and represents God’s redemptive mission over humanity, the triumph of light over darkness, hope over despair and good over evil.
“The Christian festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is also a time to emulate the virtues of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, humility, courage and endurance, which Christ embodied and remarkably demonstrated during His earthly ministry.
“Let us use this auspicious season to show love to our neighbours, and cater to the needs of the less-privileged in our midst,” the president added.
The president further appealed to Nigerians to use the platform of Easter celebration to pray for the restoration of peace and security in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, encouraging them to keep alive the hope for a brighter and greater future if they do things right.
Furthermore, the president who cited a portion of the scriptures which state that “weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning,” promised that he would not trivialise his re-election by upholding the tripod of his campaign promise.
He advocated the need for dedication, honest and accountable leadership in a secure atmosphere where criminals are brought to justice as he wished all Christians a happy Easter celebrations.
His words: “On this holy occasion, I enjoin all Nigerians to intensify prayers for peace and security to return to all parts of the country. I also urge you not to lose hope of a brighter and greater future for the country when we do the right things in love. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
“I do not take the import of my re-election for granted, especially the expectations of majority of Nigerians towards providing adequate security, fixing the economy and fighting corruption. The obligation of this administration as we prepare to take governance to the Next Level, is to continue to provide dedicated and honest leadership, where every citizen irrespective of religion or ethnic origin, feels secure to live, invest and prosper; where public office holders are accountable; and law breakers are brought to justice.
“Once more, I wish all our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria and around the world celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a Happy Easter.”