President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to pick up the weapon of prayers to kick out the evils of kidnapping and banditry that have scared the nation.
In a statement to celebrate the Eid-l Fitr, President Buhari also tasked Nigerians not to pay heed to those he said have taken the platform of religion to divide Nigerians.
The resort by President Buhari to prayers comes against the background of serious challenges that have been faced by the military and police in their combat against the two evils with Nigerians adopting self defence mechanisms to protect themselves in the face of the failures by the government.
But rousing the citizenry in his Eid-I-Fitr message issued on his behalf by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the president said:
“On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.”
“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.
“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.
Saying that Nigerians should adopt prayers to defeat bandits and kidnappers, Buhari said:
“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.
“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”