By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians, especially Christians to learn to tolerate and respect one another in order to promote peace in the country.
In a Christmas goodwill message he personally signed, the President reminded that peace was one of the central messages that dominated the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ whose birth Christians commemorate at Christmas.
Buhari, while assuring that the nation would come out of the current economic recession better and stronger, also urged Nigerians to spare a thought for the heroic Nigerian military personnel who had paid the supreme sacrifice in defence of the country and its citizens.
The statement read: “I heartily rejoice with all Nigerians, particularly our Christian brothers and sisters, on this year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
“As we celebrate this year’s Christmas, I believe that it is very appropriate for us to reflect on the love of God aptly espoused in the teachings and lifestyle of Jesus Christ.
“During his earthly sojourn, Jesus Christ repeatedly reminded his disciples and followers of peace that comes in the midst of trials and tribulations on earth.
“There is no better time than now in our nation’s history to pray for divine guidance to get over our current challenges.
“We can have peace in Nigeria if we all learn to tolerate and appreciate one another, respect constituted authority; and be our brothers’ keepers in word and deed.
“During this period, we should remember to offer special prayers to God for all our heroic citizens who paid the supreme price to restore peace and security in the North East and other flash points in the country. Let us also remember in our prayers the security forces in the frontline in the continuing battle to rid our nation of terrorism and violence.
“We must not forget the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in our midst and those who have suffered untold hardship as a result of activities of insurgents and terrorists.
“Our immediate priority is to alleviate the poverty of Nigerians by quickly stimulating the economy. I assure Nigerians that our government is doing its best to make life easier for all.
“Let us therefore, renew our hope in the God-ordained unity, progress and prosperity of our great nation.
“I wish all travelers safe movements and a memorable holiday as we celebrate with our family and friends.”