President Muhammmadu Buhari says reforming a nation like Nigeria, "pushed into near decay on account of corruption", comes with teething pains.
He, however, noted that these pains are temporary; saying the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration he was privileged to lead "is beholden to the ordinary Nigerians and will leave no stone unturned to make their security, welfare and happiness our priority."
The president said this on Friday night in his Sallah message to mark the end of the Ramadan period.
Buhari, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, thanked Nigerians for their patience and assured that their sacrifices would not be in vain.
President Buhari stressed the importance of putting the virtues of Islam into practice beyond the fasting season.
Congratulating Muslims on completing "this spiritually significant month of sacrifice", he urged them to reflect on the importance of Ramadan in becoming good ambassadors of Islam at all times.
The president said religion should be the moral compass for all believers in their public and personal lives," adding that "if people allow the teachings of their religions to influence their conducts, problems such as corruption, which diverts public funds to private pockets, would have been eliminated in the society."
Buhari, regretted, however, that "selfishness and greed have overcome people's conscience so much that they don't have moral inhibitions in the pursuit of their greed."
According to him, "It is impossible to separate morality from religion, and removing this connection encourages corrupt leaders and other exploiters to commit atrocities against the society."
He said he always wondered why any true believer, be they politicians, civil servants or businessmen, would seek to make profits from the misfortunes of others.
President Buhari urged ordinary Nigerians to stop glorifying thieves by treating them with disdain for bringing hardships to others.
He enjoined religious leaders to always pray for peace and unity in the country and avoid making inflammatory utterances that endanger peace or promote conflicts.
The president also appealed to fellow citizens to forgive one another and embrace peace.
He, in this respect, lauded the families of recipients of national honours for showing good examples to Nigerians and urged our country men and women to copy their good examples.