I greet you all, especially our Christian brothers and sisters who are celebrating Easter and commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ today.
As we join Christians in other countries of the world in celebrating Easter this year, I urge all Nigerians to reflect on the significance of its lessons of piety, obedience to higher authorities, self sacrifice for the good of others, redemption, salvation, deliverance, renewal and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.These lessons of Easter and other injunctions on brotherly love, peaceful co-existence, tolerance, honesty, humility, justice, equity and fairness to all without discrimination contained in the Gospels are of particular importance to us as a nation as we continue to contend with the challenges of nation-building and development.
As our Christian compatriots celebrate the Messiah’s triumph over death and all that it connotes, let us all renew our faith and confidence in our ability as a people to overcome all obstacles, challenges and threats to national progress and well-being, including terrorism and other criminal attacks on our people in some parts of the country.
My belief in our ability to overcome all retrogressive and divisive forces in our midst and build a strong, united and prosperous nation by turning our unique diversity into a source of strength remains unshaken and we will continue to work with all interest groups and stakeholders in the country to achieve the peaceful, secure and politically stable conditions essential for rapid socio-economic development.
In spite of the evil machinations of terrorists, criminals and their collaborators, our Administration remains ardently focused on efforts to successfully execute the Federal Government’s Agenda for National Transformation and achieve sustained development.
We have already made notable advances in this regard. As a result of our efforts and those of previous administrations, the Nigeria economy is now the largest in Africa and the 26th largest in the world.
But we cannot afford to rest on our oars. Much remains to be done and we will continue to count on the patriotic support of all Nigerians as we strive to achieve more inclusive economic growth, generate more national wealth and create more employment opportunities to meet the demands of our increasingly youthful population.
I commend the leadership and delegates to the ongoing National Conference, the vast majority of who have shown a patriotic and praiseworthy commitment to national unity, peace and progress built on justice, fairness and equity for all component parts of the country.
As the Conference breaks into committees to continue its deliberations, it remains our hope and expectation that the end result will be meaningful and enduring contributions towards strengthening national unity and fulfilling our collective desire for a better and greater nation.
Once again, I extend heartfelt commiserations to all the families who have sadly lost loved relatives in recent terrorist attacks.
Our thoughts and sympathies remain with all those who have suffered injuries from the heinous attacks. We pray for their speedy recovery and shall keep on doing everything possible to assist them with required medical services and material support.
Our Armed Forces and security agencies will continue to do their very best to curb such attacks and restore full security to all parts of our beloved country.
But we must all become more alert and vigilant, and do all that we can to give them the fullest possible assistance, support and cooperation they require to achieve more effective protection of lives and property across the country.
We shall continue to count on your support and prayers for greater peace, harmony, progress and prosperity in Nigeria.
May God Almighty bless our dear nation and guide us, always.
Happy Easter to you all.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria