Social justice, fairness key to Nigeria’s unity – Buhari

Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will continue to promote unity and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians by ensuring fairness and social justice to all.

The president stated this when he received Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin Muhammad Al-Qassimi, Imam of the Mosque of the Holy Prophet in Medina, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.

A statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, quoted President Buhari as saying that God had a purpose of bringing people from different ethnic backgrounds into one country – Nigeria.

“God knows best- a population of 180 million people comprising more than 300 ethnic groups many of them with cultural ties stronger than religion can only co-exist peacefully in an atmosphere of social justice,’’ he said.

President Buhari urged Muslims and all other citizens to imbibe and practice social justice as a norm and prayed to God to guide his government in doing the same.

“I pray that God gives us the courage to be fair to people he put in our charge so that we can enjoy his mercy.’’

Buhari cited several personal life lessons from the country’s political crisis in 1966, the civil war, his incarceration for three and half years in solitary detention, and his attempts to win presidential election.

He told the visiting Imam that he had learnt ‘‘an important lesson about social justice,’’ from these personal experiences.

The president commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their efforts to create a better understanding and practice of Islam.

He welcomed the visit of the Imam to Nigeria, noting that it would strengthen the bond of ties between the two countries.

In his remarks, Al-Qassimi commended the peaceful co-existence among Nigerians in spite their socio-religious backgrounds.

He expressed satisfaction with the cordial relations between government and religious leaders and called for a better teaching and practice of Islam devoid of extremism.