- Ahead of Nigeria's 58th independence anniversary President Muhammadu Buhari, has urged Nigerians to see their diversity as source of strength
- President Buhari advised Nigerians to de-emphasise cultural and religious affiliations with view to enhancing peace and national cohesion
- The president further urged Nigerians to embrace genuine dialogue as panacea to the attainment of sustainable peace, progress and development
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, September 28, urged Nigerians to see their diversity as source of strength, progress, peace and national development.
He made the call at Public Lecture and Special Jumma’at Prayer to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence Day Celebration at the National Mosque in Abuja.
The lecture was organised by the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of its President-General, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III.
Represented by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, the president advised Nigerians to de-emphasise cultural and religious affiliations with view to enhancing peace and national cohesion, adding that Nigerians should enjoy and benefit from the secular nature of the country.
The president further urged Nigerians to embrace genuine dialogue as panacea to the attainment of sustainable peace, progress and development, stressing that “there was no alternative to peace.”
The Sultan of Sokoto said that the aim of the lecture was to bring together the Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, security agencies and Muslim stakeholders under one roof to chart a way forward for the country.
The NSCIA President-General advised Muslim politicians to strive toward contributing to peace and development of the country at whatever position they found themselves.
He said “we are here as Muslims not members of APC, PDP, SDP or any political party.
“We are here to chart a way forward for this country to be better than what we are now because development is a continuous process.”
Abubakar also urged the political class to emulate the virtues of First Republic politicians like Sir Ahmadu Bello, Premier of the then Northern Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and others.
He challenged politicians to do what Chief Awolowo did for the then Western Nigeria “and stop making noise over who Awolowo was.
“We remember with nostalgia the good days of Sir Ahmadu Bello, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and others.
“These were leaders and statesmen who believed in Nigeria and who worked closely with one another to make Nigeria a better country.
“We must emulate them; we must follow their footsteps to move our nation forward.”
He enjoined public office holders to think of what they could do for the country so as to leave behind good legacy.
The special prayer, led by the Murshid (General-Overseer) of Abuja National Mosque, Prof. Shehu Galadanci, was offered for continued peace, progress and development of the country.
Legit.ng previously reported that the federal government has assured Nigerians of maximum security at the 58th Independence celebration, scheduled to hold from September 25 to October 1.
Gabriel Aduda, chairman, 2018 Independence Day Central Organising Committee, gave the assurance at a news briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, September 18.
“We have looked at every possible risk that could arise, we are not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that Nigerians are secure and the celebration is hitch-free."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Nigerian Air Force winged 10 flying officers - on Legit.ng TV