IBB harps on unity, forgiveness at 81

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FORMER Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has called on Nigerians to steer clear of hate speech and other acts capable of causing disunity in the country.

Babangida also advised citizens to ignore unpatriotic politicians and individuals whose stock in trade is disrupting the peace of the nation.

He said this is imperative as campaigns for the 2023 general elections draw closer.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Babangida spoke to journalists as part of activities to commemorate his 81st birthday in his Minna residence, yesterday.

Babangida said Nigerians should not give up hope on challenges bedevilling the country, noting: “This too shall pass.”

He said: “I plead with us to be patient with one another and be prayerful for God’s intervention in our socio-economic and political activities. “We need to continue to sensitise people on how to live in peace and harmony for peace, progress, and for continued existence as a nation.”

He added: “If the media and journalists ignore the spreaders of hate, they will not have a platform to pass their messages across. You are doing enough to promote the unity of the country. You can change the psyche of Nigerians. I implore you to ignore those that preach hate and disunity. Ignore them and don’t bother about them.”

MEANWHILE, in a congratulatory message by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari joined family, friends and associates of the former leader in celebrating another year.

Buhari noted the historical role of the former military president in shaping the political and economic development of the country and his counsel to upcoming political leaders.

He also prayed for longer life, good health and strength for the octogenarian.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, in a goodwill message he personally signed, described Babangida as a courageous leader who has contributed so much to the unity and development of the nation.

The former President also highlighted the octogenarian’s vital roles in fostering peace and friendship in the country, stating that he has continued to inspire many people across the land.

Jonathan stated further: “I join your family, friends and other well-wishers to felicitate you as you celebrate your 81st birthday.

“As a military officer and President you made significant contributions to the development and prosperity of our country.

“Your excellency, as you celebrate, I pray God to grant you peace, joy and long life in good health and the strength to carry on with the good works you are doing for our beloved country. On behalf of my family, I wish you a happy birthday.”