President Muhammadu Buhari has urged aggreived groups in the country including the Shi’a community and Niger Delta militants to embrace peace and always abide by the laws of the country.
The President made the appeal in his New Year message to Nigerians issued in Abuja on Saturday.
He reassured that his administration would continue to pursue peace initiatives with aggrieved groups across the country.
Buhari particularly called on the Niger Delta militants to desist from their destructive activities and come to the negotiation table.
“We will continue to pursue peace initiatives in the Niger Delta, as I again call on our brothers in that region who have taken to violent disruptions of economic infrastructure to come to the negotiation table.
“As for our brothers and sisters of the Shia community, we urge them too to embrace peace.
“They must accept the laws of the country they live in. They cannot be islands by themselves.
“At the same time, the law enforcement agencies must treat them humanely and according to the rule of law.’’
President Buhari stated that Nigerians must continue to support and tolerate one another and live together as one.
“These are the attributes that define us and have for years confounded the pessimists who do not believe in our continued existence as a united and indivisible nation.
“We are a remarkable nation that has succeeded in harnessing our multiple diversities for national development.
“We must continue to support and tolerate one another and live together as one.’’
President Buhari, who congratulated the heroic and gallant efforts of the military and other security agencies on their remarkable successes to rid the nation of terrorism, urged all citizens to support the security agencies in the fight against terrorism.
“The support of all Nigerians to security agencies to enable them successfully execute their mandate is crucial in our bid to effectively secure our country.
“Seeing the joyful return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on December 25, reassured us that the voluntary return of IDPs in other parts of the country is imminent.’’
He stated that the Federal Government would spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the victims of terrorism and insurgency.
The president urged state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards this goal.
According to him, government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs of IDPs, saying that measures are being taken to correct the mistakes and punish the culprits.