President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he wants to leave the country better than he met it when he assumed office four years ago.
The President recently won a second term in office which will take effect from May 29 and run till 2023.
He spoke on Friday in Abuja when the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria paid him a visit at the State House.
The CAN delegation was led by its President, Rev Samson Ayokunle. The group was at the Villa to congratulate Buhari on his re-election for another term.Buhari told the visitors that of particular interest to him was the unity of the country, which he promised to strengthen.
He stated, “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 kidnapping will be intensified.”
Buhari also assured the CAN leadership that he would promote inter-religious harmony, using the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, adding that he appreciated the support religious organisations had given to his administration so far.
Earlier, Ayokunle sought ethnic and religious balance in the choice of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly.
He urged the President to direct security agencies to intensify efforts to secure the release of Leah Sharibu from Boko Haram insurgents and contain the killings in some parts of the country.
CAN further advised Buhari to pick the best hands for inclusion in his next cabinet.
The CAN president further said, “Your Excellency, our advice to you is to take your leadership beyond party politics. We were so happy listening to your speech after your re-election that you were going to run an all-inclusive government. Having been re-elected President, you have become the President of all.
“In view of this, we urge you to see yourself as father to all by embracing all. We solicit inclusiveness and fairness as you constitute your cabinet and appoint worthy Nigerians to the headship and membership of critical agencies, boards and parastatals.
“Your Excellency, there is no ethnic or religious group in Nigeria where you cannot find highly qualified men and women that you can engage to add value to your administration and help in moving the nation forward. This is the true and objective way in which you can give all in the country, a sense of belonging.
“We, from the Christian Association of Nigeria, recognise the importance of the National Assembly to the stability and growth of our polity. It is in this regard that we call for ethnic and religious balance with depth in picking the leadership of that great institution of democracy.
“Sir, to ensure that this happens is to remove any apprehension and suspicion harboured towards the leadership of this country. We equally solicit that the principle of separation of powers as it is enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria be allowed to thrive as an intrinsic aspect of modern day democracy.”
Meanwhile, Buhari has explained why he opted to be observing the Friday Juma’at prayers at the Presidential Villa, as against going to the National Mosque.
He said this was to avoid causing unnecessary inconvenience to worshippers and other Nigerians, whose activities would have to be disrupted because of presidential movement.