Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to rise above personal, group, sectarian and other interests, and promote harmony and tolerance in dealing with one another at all times.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said President Buhari, in his Sallah message, urged all Muslims to use the occasion for sober reflection and self-examination, and strive to be good ambassadors of their religion by upholding high moral values.
The President reminded Muslims that this felicitous occasion of Eid-ul-Adha is a remembrance of the submission of Prophet Ibrahim Allaihis-Salam to Allah, his Creator, by which he taught the world the value of sacrifice in relating with one another, and when it comes to nation-building.
“We must sacrifice for others and remember always those who are less fortunate than ourselves,” he said.
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President Buhari explained that religion is a major factor in influencing human behaviour towards good conduct and actions.
He, however, regretted that selfishness, greed and corruption have overwhelmed human souls to the extent that people abandon their religious beliefs in pursuit of their greed.
President Buhari stressed that fighting corruption is a task that must be done in order to protect the larger interests of the ordinary Nigerians who are the worst victims of diseases, poverty, malnutrition and other afflictions.
He said surrendering to corruption is not an option because it destroys society and progress of nations.
According to President Buhari, “Even if some people hate you for fighting corruption, you should not chicken out from the task as a leader because doing so is a betrayal of public trust.”
On the current economic challenges facing Nigerians, President Buhari reassured that such are temporary because the welfare of the people is the main thrust of the change agenda of the administration.
To buttress this point, President Buhari cited the many initiatives unfolded by the administration under the Social Investment Programme (SIP) among which was the recent decision to distribute recovered stolen funds to the poor against the past practices of re-looting such funds by some people in authority.