A call has been made to Nigerians to see diversity as a source of healthy rivalry, strength, peace and national development. This assertion was made by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari at the Abuja National Mosque during a public lecture and Special Jumaat prayer which was organised as part of activities marking the nation’s 58th Independence Day celebration.
President Buhari who was represented by the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, urged Nigerians to de-emphasize cultural and religious differences in order to enhance peace and national cohesion and to embrace dialogue as a solution to the attainment of sustainable peace, progress and development. The lecture was organized by the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of its President-General, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III. In his speech, the Sultan urged Muslim politicians to strive to contribute to peace and development of the country irrespective of the positions they find themselves.
The event also witnessed a special prayer led by the Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque, Professor Shehu Galandaci, for continued peace, progress and development of the country. Amongst the dignitaries that graced the event was the Etsu Nupe Alhaja Yahaya Abubakar, representative of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Permanent Secretaries, representatives from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Airforce, Nigerian Navy, Federal Road Safety Corp, Nigerian Immigration Service and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp. Members of diplomatic corps as well as various Islamic Organisations also attended and participated in the lecture and prayer.