I rejoice with you all, especially our Christian brothers and sisters, as we celebrate Easter.
For Christians all over the world, this celebration is in commemoration of the supreme sacrifice which Jesus Christ made for the salvation of mankind.
The Gospels also tell us that during his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ repeatedly urged his disciples and followers to “love one another as I have loved you”.
As we celebrate Easter this year, I sincerely believe that it will serve our dear nation very well if we all imbibe this essential message of Jesus Christ and truly learn to love our countrymen and women as we love ourselves.
Indeed, we will surely make faster progress towards the achievement of the peaceful, united, strong, progressive and prosperous country we all desire if, as a nation, we eschew all divisive, parochial, ethnic and religious sentiments and rivalries, and begin to live more harmoniously with our compatriots, as Jesus Christ and the founders of the world’s other great religions enjoined mankind.
Our unfortunate notoriety in recent years as a country where the blood of men, women and children are wantonly and callously shed in frequent orgies of criminal, political, ethnic and religious violence has become very embarrassing and utterly unacceptable.
My administration is determined to achieve greater peace and security across our nation by ending the avoidable conflicts and crises that hinder our national progress.
I ask for greater support from all Nigerians in this regard. We must put a stop to politically motivated killings. Our communities must be made safe again for all inhabitants to live together in peace and harmony.
Our armed forces, police and other security agencies are being progressively reformed, repositioned and empowered to win the war against terrorism and make mass killings, abductions and other criminal atrocities things of the past in our beloved country.
Let us all also play our parts as patriotic citizens and do all that we can to ensure that we make Nigeria a safer, more peaceful and happier place for its people and others.
Faith, belief and the fulfilment of expectations are also key themes of the Easter celebration. I urge you all therefore, to continue to have faith in the future greatness of our country and to believe that the CHANGE my administration promised will surely come to fruition.
That CHANGE, which we all yearn for, will certainly occur more rapidly if we all place the love of our country above selfish personal and group interests.
The National Assembly has just passed the 2016 budget. I assure all Nigerians that we will do our utmost best to ensure that the budget, the first since my election as President, is efficiently and successfully implemented towards achieving our objective of faster economic growth and development.
I thank the vast majority of Nigerians for their patience and understanding in the first ten months of this administration.
As we go forward, I assure you all that we are working very hard to overcome the challenges we encountered on assumption of office.
We are moving on with an unshaken resolve and determination to deliver on the mandate you gave us on March 28, last year.
I wish you all very happy Easter celebrations.
March 26, 2016