President Muhammadu Buhari has said that peace can be attained in the country if Nigerians “learn to tolerate and appreciate one another, respect constituted authority and be our brothers’ keepers in word and deed.”
The President said this in his Christmas message to Nigerians, stressing that Jesus Christ, during His earthly sojourn, repeatedly reminded His “disciples and followers of peace that comes in the midst of trials and tribulations on earth.”
In another message, President Buhari commended Nigerian troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for “the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa Forest,” urging them to “maintain the tempo by pursuing them and bringing them to justice” and directing that efforts “be intensified to locate and free our remaining Chibok girls still in captivity.”
Text of the messages:
I heartily rejoice with all Nigerians, particularly our Christian brothers and sisters, on this year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
As we celebrate this year’s Christmas, I believe that it is very appropriate for us to reflect on the love of God aptly espoused in the teachings and lifestyle of Jesus Christ.
During his earthly sojourn, Jesus Christ repeatedly reminded his disciples and followers of peace that comes in the midst of trials and tribulations on earth.
There is no better time than now in our nation’s history to pray for divine guidance to get over our current challenges.
We can have peace in Nigeria if we all learn to tolerate and appreciate one another, respect constituted authority; and be our brothers’ keepers in word and deed.
During this period, we should remember to offer special prayers to God for all our heroic citizens who paid the supreme price to restore peace and security in the North East and other flash points in the country. Let us also remember in our prayers the security forces in the frontline in the continuing battle to rid our nation of terrorism and violence.
We must not forget the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in our midst and those who have suffered untold hardship as a result of activities of insurgents and terrorists.
Our immediate priority is to alleviate the poverty of Nigerians by quickly stimulating the economy. I assure Nigerians that our government is doing its best to make life easier for all.
Let us therefore, renew our hope in the God-ordained unity, progress and prosperity of our great nation.
I wish all travellers safe movements and a memorable holiday as we celebrate with our family and friends.
GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI TO TROOPS OF OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE ON THE SUCCESSFUL CAPTURE OF BOKO HARAM ENCLAVE IN SAMBISA FOREST
I am delighted at, and most proud of the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, on receipt of the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa Forest.
I want to use this opportunity to commend the determination, courage and resilience of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole at finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at “Camp Zero”, which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa Forest.
I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the Camp fell at about 1:35pm on Friday, December 22, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide. I urge you to maintain the tempo by pursuing them and bringing them to justice.
I, therefore, call on all Nigerians to cooperate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies by providing useful information that will expose all the terrorists hiding among the populace.
Further efforts should be intensified to locate and free our remaining Chibok girls still in captivity. May God be with them.
I also want to congratulate and commend the able leadership of the Nigerian Army in particular and indeed, that of the Armed Forces in general, for making this possible. This, no doubt, will go a long way in improving the security situation not only in the North East, but the country in general. But we must not let our guards down.
Once more, congratulations to our troops and all who, in one way or the other, contributed to this most commendable and momentous effort. May the Almighty continue to be with you.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a most rewarding and peaceful Year 2017 ahead.
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
December 24, 2016.