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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on all Nigerians to unite and shun calls for separatism fuelled by religious differences.

The President made the call in his message celebrating the end of the Ramadan fasting month and observance of the Eid Al-Fitr for 2021.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari noted the various challenges facing Nigeria are only surmountable when citizens of all faiths come together as one people.

He charged all Nigerians to pray to God to help the country overcome the vices of banditry kidnapping and machinations of some elements seeking to acquire political power through divisive ploys.

Buhari said: “On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.

“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians, are imperative, especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges, which are surmountable only when we come together as one.

“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions for their own selfish advantages.

“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power, expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.

“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”

The President said it was noteworthy and delightful to see Christians breaking fast and in some instances, extending goodwill and gifts to Muslim faithfuls during the Ramadan.

“This model also shone through with Muslim groups joining Christian festivities. These are practices that promote brotherhood and forgiveness,” he said.

He also urged Nigerians to continue to observe all COVID-19 prevention measures and celebrate responsibly during the holidays.

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