By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the rapid development of Nigeria, beyond ethnicity, religion and geographical lines, will remain a driving force for his administration.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, yesterday the President gave the assurance while receiving Sheikh Ahmed Tijjani Ibrahim Inyass, the Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya, at the Presidential Villa.
Acknowledging the overwhelming support of Nigerians and the confidence reposed on his administration, the President told the Sheikh: ‘‘We are very pleased with the prayers and support of the Tijjaniya to this administration and I assure you our interest is for all Nigerians, across ethnicity and religion.’’
‘‘I know you are praying for the stability and prosperity of this country,’’ the President added.
Buhari who thanked the highly revered religious leader from Senegal for the visit underscored the importance of the religious group in promoting good governance in the country.
‘‘I feel highly honoured, on behalf of my country, that the Sheikh has found time to come and see us while he is here to commiserate with the families of late Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu.
‘‘The Sheikh is in Nigeria where he has vast followers and we have people across families who go to Senegal every year, as much as a lot of people go to Mecca, to visit the tomb of your great father,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya, commended the President for the good job he is doing in Nigeria, noting that ‘‘it is evident for all to see.’’
‘‘More than 40 million Tijjanyia’s are praying for your success because we believe the Almighty Allah has chosen you to lead Nigeria at this time and to actualise the dream of a great country,’’ he said.
The Grand Khalifa, who is in Nigeria to commiserate with the Rabiu family, paid tribute to late Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu, describing him as a great man and nationalist, dedicated to knowledge, Islam and prosperity of Nigeria.
The Sheikh offered prayers for the progress, prosperity of the nation and good health, wisdom, strength and success for the President.