By Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)
President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja assured Christian leaders in the country of his commitment to leave Nigeria better than he met it in 2015.
Receiving the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) led by Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, the President affirmed that his administration will continue to address important national challenges including security, economy and corruption.
CAN leadership was at State House to congratulate President Buhari on his re-election, and the President told them the outcome of the just concluded polls underscores the trust Nigerians have in the present leadership in the country.
‘‘We will continue to strive for peaceful co-existence among all Nigerians irrespective of their religious beliefs.
‘‘In the area of allocation of political offices, our focus will be on merit and national spread such that every part of Nigeria will have a sense of belonging.
‘‘We remain resolute in the fight against terrorism and insurgency, and efforts to bring back all those in captivity and other victims of kidnappings will be intensified,’’ the President said.
Commending the important roles religious bodies have played in the last four years of the administration, President Buhari pledged to continue supporting several programmes anchored by the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), geared towards peace, tolerance, unity and harmony in our country.
In his congratulatory message, the CAN president prayed God to grant President Buhari ‘‘everything it takes to perform hundred times better than’’ his first term, stressing that the organisation had the success of this administration at heart.
Rev Ayokunle welcomed the President’s pledge to run an inclusive government in a speech shortly after his re-election, noting that the gesture would give all in the country a sense of belonging.
The leadership of the Christian body in Nigeria also called for ethnic and religious balance in the selection of leadership of the ninth National Assembly.
While appealing to the President to task security agencies to be more proactive in their duties, the CAN leader made a passionate request for deliberate and relentless efforts to free Leah Sharibu, other Chibok girls and Nigerians in captivity of insurgents.