President Muhammadu Buhari has said if Nigerians want to witness rapid development, ethnic and religious prejudices must be avoided.
Buhari stated this on Thursday while receiving delegates from the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs NSCIA.
The group, led by its President-General, the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, assured the President that his administration would continue to create an enabling environment promote religious freedom.
The presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, who quoted the President after the meeting, noted that the Buhari’s led administration will not allow religious prejudice or partisanship to take control over its decisions and policies, adding that “it is my solemn decision to be fair and just to all segments of society.”
According to him, “The Federal Government will continue to promote religious freedom as it is a constitutional responsibility. I must thank the Muslim ummah for promoting inter-religious dialogue in the country. It is self-evident that if the country must work, we must continue to work together despite our ethnic, religious, and political differences because Nigeria is our collective project. The President assured the delegation that Government was doing all within its powers to bring the current state of insecurity to the barest minimum, calling on the local community to assist the security forces as they perform their roles.
“The Federal Government has worked tirelessly to combat insecurity and other challenges that are confronting the country. Security is a protracted problem, but we are not relenting in our efforts. Not only are we equipping the military, but we are also boosting their morale to perform their constitutional duties without undue interference. We are also encouraging locales to enhance their intelligence gathering and timely remitted to the security Agencies.
“I acknowledge that security is the first responsibility of the Government, but the Government cannot do it alone. It requires stakeholders, such as yourselves. Therefore, I urge you to lend your support to the security agencies by providing information that may stem the tide of crimes and insecurity in the society.”
The President also commented on efforts being made by his administration towards enhancing the livelihood of Nigerians.
“We are diversifying the economy and putting appropriate mechanisms in place to reduce poverty and more fiercely combat corruption, regardless of the status of those involved. “Program such as N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program, and Home-Grown School Feeding are just some of the interventions made to empower Nigerians and cater for their needs.
“The National Social Investment Program alone has directly benefited four million Nigerians through job training and financial assistance.”
According to him, the program was “designed to not only address our high out of school rates, but it will boost our levels of Girl Child education while also equipping our youth with the right tools in making decisions at every turn of their lives when confronted by peddlers of evil and hateful messages… and also address the public health crises that the world is currently facing.”