Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, his country home, has called on Nigerians to set aside their differences and strengthen the bonds of friendship and unity to keep the country together.
Buhari, who made this appeal in his Sallah message to Nigerians, which he personally signed, also thanked the country's citizens whom he said prayed for his recovery, irrespective of their religious, ethnic and political leanings.
The president said the prayers had reinvigorated him to further rededicate himself and his administration to the task of building a great Nigeria.
He further admonished Nigerians to lay aside their differences and sustain the unity of Nigeria by viewing one another as brothers and sisters from the same origin, citing the African proverb that a family tie can only bend but can't be broken.
According to him, Nigeria will make appreciable progress in all spheres of life if its citizens exhibit the virtues of sacrifice, patience and steadfastness, among others, that Prophet Abraham, whom he described with the Arabic variant, Ibrahim, demonstrated by obeying God's command.
He rejoiced with Muslims as well as those who had gone on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia as they celebrate Eid-el-Kabir Friday, reminding all that the pursuit of security, economic recovery and prosperity of Nigerians shall remain his administration's priority.
He said: "I felicitate with you all, particularly the Muslim faithful, on the celebration of this year's Eid-El-Kabir. I congratulate our Muslim brothers and sisters who are currently in Saudi Arabia to participate in the rites of the Hajj.
"From the outset, I want to use this opportunity to thank all Nigerians who prayed for my recovery and have continued to extend their goodwill and support after my return to the country.
"Indeed, your fervent and sincere prayers which cut across religion, political and ethnic divides, have energised me to rededicate myself and this administration to the task of building a great Nigeria.
"On the joyous occasion of this year's Eid-El-Kabir celebration, I appeal to all Nigerians to rise against the odds, keep our prejudices aside and strengthen the bonds of friendship and unity to keep our country together.
"For Muslims all over the world, this celebration is to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet (Abraham) Ibrahim.
"As we celebrate, I sincerely believe that our nation can make rapid progress on all fronts if we re-enact the exemplary virtues, typified by Prophet (Abraham) Ibrahim, through his sacrifice, patience, steadfastness, generosity and obedience to Allah's command and constituted authority.
"We must learn to see ourselves as brothers and sisters from the same heritage, who must come to terms with the African proverb that 'a family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break'.
"Once again, I assure you that this administration, which has made the security, economic well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians its priority, will not rest on its oars until we see the Nigeria of our dream. I wish everyone happy Sallah celebrations."