President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said that religious and ethnic intolerance of Nigerians will break the country if utmost care is not taken. He said Nigeria had experienced new security challenges that were not envisaged in the recent past, as exemplified by the various terrorist attacks being carried out in some parts of the country.
President Jonathan made the declaration in Kaduna yesterday at the graduation of 158 Nigerian and foreign military officers and some civilians from the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji.
Represented by the Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, the president said, “the greatest danger to our collective security as a people and a nation lies in the peril of ethnic and religious intolerance. If the twin evils are not checked, they are capable of threatening the nation’s corporate existence as one sovereign and indivisible nation.”
According to President Jonathan, “within our domestic environment, the challenges of maintaining peace and security remain primarily that of the civil police. However, the recent security challenges confronting us have made it necessary for the armed forces to play a crucial role.”
While commending the effort of the armed forces for the role currently played to safeguard the integrity of Nigeria, especially in the North Eastern part of the country, Jonathan expressed optimism that with the perseverance, commitment, dedication and loyalty, the graduating officers would contribute their own quota to the national development of their countries.
On the global scene, President Jonathan reaffirmed Nigerian government’s commitment to the maintenance of international peace and security, adding that Nigeria would continue to collaborate with other African governments to promote peace, stability and development in the continent.