By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has called for restraint from Nigerians so as not to worsen the security situation in the country. He called on Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic and religious divides, to continue to live in peace as Nigeria’s diversity has always been a unifying factor for the country.

Speaking in his New Year message to Lagosians, Governor Fashola said the core virtue needed for national stability and development was ethnic co-existence among all.

He said: “There is a need for people in all parts of the country to tread with caution in realisation of the fact that everyone is a stakeholder in realising a peaceful and prosperous nation where families can be raised, livelihoods earned and individuals can worship their Creator in diverse ways.”

Governor Fashola pointed out that it was necessary that all Nigerians of diverse ethnic groups feel safe to reside in any part of the country without fear of falling victim to violent attacks or undue persecution.

He said: “It is within the making of all Nigerians for people of diverse ethnic groups to feel confident to reside in any part of the country without any fear of falling victim to violent attacks or undue persecution.”

According to him, inter-marriages among Nigerians across all ethnic and religious beliefs have continued over the years, noting that there was no Nigerian family which does not have a fusion of either religious or ethnic groups.

He thanked Lagosians for their co-operation and support, wishing them a brighter and rewarding 2012 that will witness a continuation of the efforts by the state government to better the lot of the people across all divides.

Fashola added: “Let us resolve more than ever before, as we step into the New Year, that your city, Lagos, will continue to be a shining example of peaceful co-existence and a blooming melting pot of faith, tongues and cultures.”

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