President Goodluck Jonathan has called on those engaged in security breaches in the country to have a change of heart as a mark of respect for the Sallah period.
In his Eid-el-Kabir message yesterday, the President said though government is still ready to dialogue with aggrieved groups in parts of the country, it will not hesitate to wield the big stick.
He said as followers of Islam or Christianity, those causing problem in the country must have a change of mind saying, “Nigerians remain a people of great faith with the vast majority of our people professing belief in God either as Muslims or Christians.
“I believe therefore that we should all seize the opportunity of the Sallah season and the public holidays to reflect on how we can bring the ideals and virtues of our religious beliefs to bear on the positive resolution of the many challenges facing us as a nation.”
The president also said, “while our doors remain open for constructive engagement and dialogue with all Nigerians, we shall continue to aggressively implement all measures deemed necessary for the restoration and maintenance of peace in all parts of the country.”
While congratulating pilgrims to this year’s Hajj, Jonathan frowned at the hitch faced in the exercise when some female pilgrims were returned over issues of male companions.
“Although the problem was eventually resolved with the positive intervention of the Federal Government, I have ordered a thorough post mortem of the incident with a view to ensuring that our Hajj airlift operations are never disrupted by such problems in future and that no Nigerian pilgrim is ever subjected to such traumatic experience in the Holy Land again,” he said.
President Jonathan said he “extends warm greetings and felicitations to you all as we celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival.”