President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed that Nigeria is a blessed country, bestowed with material and human resources, but its main problem has always been how the citizens can organise themselves and get the correct leadership in place. He made the observation yesterday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja when a delegation of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Christian Community paid him a Christmas visit.
“Everybody in the world believes Nigeria is a lucky country in the sense of its material and human resources. Our problem has always been how to organise ourselves and get the correct leadership in place so that people will be properly alive and we will realise our potentials,” Buhari said.
The president emphasised the need for all Nigerians to come together and pull the country out of its problems. “Our three biggest problems are security, unemployment of youths which make up 65 percent of the population, and corruption,” he said.
President Buhari also stated that his administration will persuade Boko Haram insurgents to allow peace to reign. “We will use government institutions to persuade them to allow peace to reign,” he said. He noted that there could be no meaningful development without security, expressing happiness that security forces were doing their best to defeat Boko Haram.
Buhari also disclosed that there are currently two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country, as a result of terrorism. He expressed concern that women and children constituted 75 percent of the IDPs, adding that 70 percent of them were children and orphans.
“We appreciate that the security agencies are doing their best and their best is being seen. And we have to continue praying for them,” Buhari stated. “As leaders, we have a weighty responsibility to ensure that the infrastructures for the orphans are taken care of. As leaders, we wake up with the feeling for those children. The fundamental thing is that they must not be denied education; schools must be rebuilt,” he stressed.
Buhari commended the Presidential Committee on Victims Support Fund headed by former defence minister General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) for their efforts. He also thanked foreign countries, especially the G7 nations, for doing their best to help Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.
Earlier, FCT minister Mohammed Musa Bello said he led the delegation which cut across the strata of the whole citizens of FCT as a mark of love and respect for Buhari’s “exalted position” as the leader and father of the nation. He said the lesson in the coincidence of the birthdays of Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammad this year is that Nigerians have to live together peacefully.
The minister also said that the entire FCT citizens would continue to pray for the president’s success, long life and prosperity.
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the FCT, Israel Akanji, said it was a privilege to celebrate this year’s Christmas with the president. The cleric said the FCT Christian community was grateful because the change Buhari promised had started coming gradually.
The president received greeting cards from the FCT community, Christian community and the Chaplain of the State House. Present at the event were Senate President Bukola Saraki, members of the National Assembly, ministers, Deputy Chief Imam of the National Mosque, FCT area council chairmen, and traditional rulers, among others.