I greet and felicitate with you all as we celebrate Easter which commemorates the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ after his redemptive self-sacrifice for the eternal salvation of mankind.
Irrespective of our religion or faith, all holidays provide us with a fresh opportunity to establish stronger bonds with our family, friends and all those around us for more enduring, harmonious and beneficial relationships.
As we celebrate this year’s Easter therefore, I urge all Nigerians to rededicate themselves to living in peace and oneness with all members of their communities no matter their ethnicity, religious beliefs or places of origin.
By now, it ought to be an accepted fact amongst us that our immense potential for greatness in the comity of nations derives in the main from our collective strength as a country of close to 170 million people and the acclaimed richness of our diverse human resources and natural endowments.
It follows, therefore, that to successfully achieve our vision of becoming one of the most dominant nations on the global stage in the shortest possible time, we must stay together as a people and continue to effectively resist by all possible means, the evil machinations of global terrorists and their misguided domestic accomplices who seek to provoke turmoil, hatred and harmful divisions among us.
I assure all Nigerians that our security agencies, armed forces and I will continue to fully discharge our constitutional responsibilities for protecting the unity and territorial integrity of this country with all the powers and forces at our disposal.
We must have peace, security and stability to effectively implement our agenda for national transformation in all parts of the country and we shall continue to work ceaselessly to re-establish the prerequisite conditions for nationwide progress and development.
For your part, dear countrymen and women, I urge you to continue to exhibit restraint and understanding in the face of seeming provocations. Those who mindlessly and indiscriminately attack churches, schools, health workers, motor-parks, banks and ordinary road users must be seen as they truly are: the brainwashed pawns of international terrorism.
They do not represent any true religion or section of the country and we must never play into their hands by succumbing to their nefarious ploys to incite religious, ethnic hatred and division among us.
It is my hope and prayer that as we celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, his lessons of self-sacrifice, brotherly love, placing others before self, tolerance, obedience, respect for lawful authorities, dutifulness, diligence, honesty, justice and fairness to all will take firmer root in our beloved country and help us to overcome present challenges and build the more peaceful, secure, united, progressive and prosperous nation of our dreams.
I wish you all happy Easter celebrations.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
Federal Republic of Nigeria
March 30, 2013