President Goodluck Jonathan scowled at those predicting disintegration of Nigeria by 2015, saying on Thirsday that disappointment awaits such people or organisations.
He admitted that some of the problems Nigeria is experiencing have a temporary nature and largely being fuelled by some selfish elites.
“Let me use this opportunity again to also reassure you, Muslim brothers, and indeed, the whole country that myself, the vice president and our team will do our best to reposition the country.
“Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters and we must live together. Those who are predicting that this country will separate base on our frontlines as at the time of amalgamation by 2015, they will know that those predictions may not be true.”
The President added that Nigeria would continue to remain one indivisible country, noting that Nigeria’s uniqueness was borne out of its position as “a deeply religious people of Christians and Muslims”.
“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 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 elites about our situations,” Goodluck Jonathan underlined.
The president, who also joined the Muslim community in observing the fasting for 29 days, congratulated all Muslims for the successful fasting.
“My brothers and sisters, assalam alaiku. Let me first and foremost use this unique opportunity to congratulate all Muslim brothers and sisters from this great country, and indeed, all over the world for going through this tempting period, in this month of Ramadan in the Holy month that the Qur’an was revealed to humanity.
“Sometimes when you are not involved in fasting you will think it is an easy thing to go through. My trousers are just pulling out from my waist.
“So you should know that it is not easy to forego food for a reasonable time within 24 hours of the day.
“For you to have gone through this is worth congratulations, so I congratulate you.”
The President urged for more prayers not just for peace in the country, but in the world, saying that “there can be no development without peace”.
“Today is a unique day, and I urge our Muslim brothers and sisters that they should continue to pray for peace not just in Nigeria but all over the world.
“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.
“In Nigeria, we are very religious people and we believe in one Almighty God and we will continue to pray, God will see us through,” he said.
Jonathan reiterated the commitment of his administration’s determination to reposition the country for better.
Earlier, in his remarks, Sambo thanked Jonathan for providing the required leadership in the country.
He said Nigerians had started witnessing the fruitful results of the ongoing transformation agenda of the government.
“We are here again this morning after the Eid prayer to pay homage to your Excellency and to thank you for all you have been giving to Nigeria.
“We appreciate the fatherly nature you have continued to hold us, the brotherly nature that you have been a teacher and a leader to all of us and we are learning about.
“We continue to pray that the transformation agenda which already is showing effect in this country particularly when you look at the area of power supply, the area of transportation.
“Today we have railway that is moving in this country after over 40 years.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sambo and other government functionaries conducted their Eid- el-Fitri prayer on Airport Road, where they prayed for peace, progress and rapid development of the country.
The prayer was led by the Chief Imam of Abuja, Ustaz Musa Mohammed.