by Olalekan Adetayo
President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday said that Nigeria would disappoint all those who predicted that the country would break up in 2015 by continuing to remain one indivisible entity.
“For those who are predicting that this country will separate in 2015 based on the fault lines as of the time of amalgamation, they will know that this prediction will not be of any consequence. Nigeria will continue to remain one indivisible entity,” the President said.
Jonathan said this while receiving members of the Muslim community in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja who paid him Sallah homage at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as part of the activities marking this year’s Eid-el-Fitri.
The Muslims were led to the President by his deputy, Namadi Sambo. Also on the entourage were the Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Muhammed; and the Minister of State, FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide.
Jonathan said he could not imagine a Nigeria without Muslims and Christians but he observed that the nation had not been able to exploit its diversity because of the myopic views of the elite.
He said, “For us, we cannot imagine a Nigeria without Muslims and Christians; you can call it another name, but not Nigeria.
“So it is a blessing that this is one country that you have a significant population of Muslims and Christians and this religious diversity will enhance our development because we can get across the whole world; wherever we go, we are accepted. That helps us in so many ways.
“We are not even exploiting our diversity because of the myopic views of the elite about our situation. Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters and we must live together.
The President reassured Nigerians that his government would continue to do its best to reposition the country .
He asked the Muslims to continue to pray for peace in Nigeria and the world at large.
The President said although the nation was currently going through some challenges, he was confident that God would see the country through.
“If you watch television these days, more than 60 per cent of the time is spent on showing crises all over the world and for the world to move ahead and for Nigeria to move ahead, for us to develop first and foremost, there must be peace and security, nobody will come and invest in an environment where you are not sure of your workers and investment.
“As a nation, for our children to get where we want them to be, we must create a very peaceful environment for them so they can develop mentally and be focused and use their brains in a manner that will bring economic changes to us,” the President said.
He said sometimes, when one was not involved, one would think fasting is an easy exercise.
He said with the way his trousers were now too big for him, he knows that the exercise is not an easy one.
He congratulated the Muslims for going through the Ramadan fasting. “Sometimes, when you are not involved in fasting, you will think it is an easy thing to go through. For you to have gone through this spiritual exercise is worth congratulations, so I congratulate you,” he added.
Earlier, Sambo had told the President that he led the Muslim community to pay homage and thank him for what he had been doing for Nigeria.
Sambo said, “We appreciate your fatherly nature. You have been a teacher; you have been a father and good leader.
“Today, we have railway in this country after over 40 years. I call on all Nigerians to continue to support Mr. President and this administration.”