The terrorist killings by Boko Haram in some parts of the country do not have religious or ethnic colorations, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.
The president spoke at the State House, Abuja when the Muslim community in the Federal Cappital Territory, FCT, led by Vice President Namadi Sambo paid him the traditional Sallah homage after the Eid-el-Kabir morning prayers.
According to President Jonathan, the killing was not limited to Nigeria as the world was generally experiencing acts of terrorism.
“That is why I asked those who killed those 50 students did they even bother about their religion or ethnicity? It has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with ethnicity,” he said
He, however, said there was need for Nigerians to “talk to ourselves in the way that our children will not develop hate amongst themselves.
“At times, when you listen to radio and read in the papers and you see sometimes even our elders that are supposed to give us leadership quarreling over nothing, sometimes even insulting themselves and even making provocative statements that will sometimes instigate one group against the other.
” We decided that we cannot continue that way; the talking must have a direction. What has been happening on the pages of the newspapers are discussions that have no direction.
“We want a country that will have a direction so the discussions must have a direction, the discussion must lead Nigeria to where we want to be, not a divided Nigeria, not a Nigeria that is sown on hate, not a Nigeria that will be based on acrimony, ethnicity and tribal sentiments in the way we conduct ourselves.
“That is a reason we set up that committee and we have given them the free will. Some people are still instigating others that the president is doing this; the government does not have the capacity to do that. We are totally committed to do what is right”.
President Jonathan expressed appreciation to the Muslim community and other visitors for finding time to come and pay homage.
He said: “Some of you have been consistent. We thank God that inspite of the challenges, we are celebrating.”
“We have challenges but I’m glad that Allah made it possible for us to be here today. Other countries have had their own challenges, 53 years is a long period for an adult but as a nation we are very young.”
Earlier, Vice President Sambo commended the President’s successful outing at the recent United Nations General Assembly in the United States, Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Day Anniversary and the Super Eagles crucial victory over Ethiopia in the first leg of the World Cup play offs.
Sambo also lauded the President’s efforts towards ensuring political stability in the country especially the recent initiative to organize a National Conference which he noted would promote peace and unity in the country.
The vice president and the Minister of State for FCT, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide later presented a Sallah greeting card to the president.
Other prominent Nigerians at the State House, who witnessed the occasion, include the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; former PDP National Chairman, Ahmadu Ali; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja.