Criminal, political, ethnic and religious violence unacceptable – Buhari

Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday pledged that mass killings of innocent Nigerians, abductions and other criminal atrocities would soon become history in the country. The president made the pledge in his Easter message to the nation. He said that his administration was determined to achieve peace and security across the nation by ending the avoidable conflicts and crises that hindered national progress. He said already the nation’s security apparatus were being reformed and empowered to win the war against terrorism and other criminal activities across the country. He said that the unfortunate incidences in recent years where the blood of men, women and children are wantonly and callously shed in frequent orgies of criminal, political, ethnic and religious violence had become embarrassing and unacceptable. agatu1 File: Protest by Agatu over the attack on their communities by Fulani herdsmen. “My administration is determined to achieve peace and security across our nation by ending the avoidable conflicts and crises that hinder our national progress. “I ask for the support of all Nigerians in this regard. We must put a stop to politically motivated killings. “Our communities must be made safe again for all inhabitants to live together in peace and harmony. “Our armed forces, police and other security agencies are being progressively reformed, repositioned and empowered to win the war against terrorism and make mass killings, abductions and other criminal atrocities things of the past in our beloved country. “Let us all also play our parts as patriotic citizens and do all that we can to ensure that we make Nigeria a safer, more peaceful and happier place for its people and others,’’ he said. The president, who rejoiced with Nigerians, especially Christian brothers and sisters, who were celebrating Easter, urged them to imbibe the essential message of Jesus Christ, who repeatedly urged his disciples and followers to “love one another as I have loved you.” “As we celebrate Easter this year, I sincerely believe that it will serve our dear nation very well if we all imbibe this essential message of Jesus Christ and truly learn to love our countrymen and women as we love ourselves. “Indeed, we will surely make faster progress towards the achievement of the peaceful, united, strong, progressive and prosperous country we all desire if, as a nation, we eschew all divisive, parochial, ethnic and religious sentiments and rivalries, and begin to live more harmoniously with our compatriots, as Jesus Christ and the founders of the world’s other great religions enjoined mankind.’’ According to the president, faith, belief and the fulfillment of expectations are also key themes of the Easter celebration. He urged Nigerians to continue to have faith in the future greatness of the nation and believe that the change his administration promised would surely come to fruition. “That change, which we all yearn for, will certainly occur more rapidly if we all place the love of our country above selfish personal and group interests.’’ Buhari reassured Nigerians that his administration would ensure that the 2016 budget recently passed by the National Assembly would be efficiently and successfully implemented to achieve the objective of faster economic growth and development. While thanking Nigerians for their patience and understanding in the first ten months of his administration, Buhari assured that the Federal Government would continue to work “very hard to overcome the challenges he encountered on assumption of office. “We are moving on with an unshaken resolve and determination to deliver on the mandate you gave us on March 28, last year. “I wish you all happy Easter celebrations.’’ (NAN)

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