In a statement on Saturday evening, President Buhari also urged Christians to use the occasion to draw inspiration from “exemplary lifestyle and teachings of Jesus Christ, who constantly stood for what is right, true and honest.”
The statement in part reads: “The commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ is an important opportunity for us to show love to one another and encourage unity by spending quality time with our friends, families and the less-privileged.
“The Holy Book describes Christmas as a festival of peace, joy, healing, hope and fulfilment. It kindles great expectations in the heart, irrespective of the challenges of the moment.
“As we celebrate this Yuletide season, let us devote some time to pray and appreciate the sacrifices of members of our armed services to keep our nation safe and secure.
“By the same token, and keeping with the spirit of the season, our gallant troops serving in the frontlines in the fight against insurgency; those wounded, lying in the hospital, as well as civilians who have suffered the brunt of evil and wicked elements these past years, deserve our fervent goodwill and sustained prayers.
“The personal fortitude of these individuals will continue to inspire us to victory as we turn the tide against the enemy and annihilate those who work against the unity of our nation.
“In this season of hope, let us remember to provide refuge to those who cannot enjoy Christmas at home with their families, or have been driven from their homes by insurgency or violence, particularly the Internally Displaced Persons.
“Lately, we have witnessed an upsurge in the activities of trans-border syndicates who lure our youths to modern slavery through irregular migration. While we have stepped up our efforts to halt this wickedness against the upwardly mobile generation, and have evacuated some of our compatriots stranded abroad, we appeal to them to shun the allure of embarking on such perilous journeys.”
The President expressed his confidence in better days that lies ahead for Nigeria as a nation, even as the country progress in her endeavours with determination to surmount challenges.