President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday reiterated his administration's commitment to the unity and indivisibility of the country, saying his administration is driven by national unity, peace, harmony, collective development and progress and will continue to inspire and motivate Nigerians.
"Against the background of persisting challenges to unity, harmony and peaceful co-existence in the country, President Jonathan seizes the opportunity of the Eid-El-Fitri celebrations to reaffirm his administration's absolute and immutable commitment to the unity and indivisibility of the Nigerian nation", a statement conveying his Eid-El-Fitri message to the nation issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati noted.
The president who said he observed the Ramadan fast in solidarity with Muslims in the country, applauded the exemplary leadership exhibited by Christian and Muslim leaders in the country, even as he thanked the religious leaders for showing "real commitment to peace and greater security for all by openly sharing the rigours and joys of the Ramadan with each other".
The statement made available to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY reads in part: "On behalf of himself and the Federal Government of Nigeria, President GoodluckEbele Jonathan congratulates all followers of the Islamic faith in the country who have successfully concluded this year's Ramadan fast.
"President Jonathan rejoices with all Muslims in the country as Nigeria joins the rest of the world in celebrating Eid-El-Fitri which marks the end of the month-long annual fast.
"He prays that Almighty Allah will grant them all the rewards promised to the faithful for the pious observance of its injunctions of piety, abstinence, self-discipline, constant prayer and charity.
"The President assures all Nigerians once again that the imperatives of national unity, peace, harmony, collective development and progress will continue to inspire and motivate all policies and actions of his administration".
He further commended the efforts of the religious leaders to further promote "national unity and peaceful co-existence by visibly reaching out to those of other faith in the true spirit of all who believe in One God.
"President Jonathan urges all Nigerians to follow the laudable example of such religious leaders by showing more of a similar commitment and willingness to live peacefully with each other in spite of differences of tribe or religion.
He wishes the entire nation a joyous and peaceful Eid-El-Fitri celebrations", Abati stated.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has urged Muslims in the country to use the period of the Eid-el-Fitr to reflect on their spiritual life as individuals and how they can contribute more meaningfully towards making Nigeria a greater nation.
Tambuwal said this in his sallah message signed by his special adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam yesterday.
The speaker stated that the steadfastness and devotion shown by Muslims during the Ramadan fast was a reflection of their service to the Almighty Allah who will reward them abundantly for their efforts.
"The long period of self restraint and self purification was a great spiritual exercise that has its heavenly blessings. It is only those who are genuinely convinced in their chosen faith that can successfully undergo the process", he said.
While congratulating the Muslims for the Sallah festivities, he further enjoined Nigerians in general to imbibe the spirit of tolerance, love and good neighbourliness amongst themselves as exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as it is only by doing this that they will be living up to the expectations of God Almighty.
He said that though the Nigerian nation is currently passing through some tough challenges, everything would be better for the country.