President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concerns that violent extremist ideas sometimes shown by some Muslims give Islam a wrong name.
He, therefore, urged Muslims to distance themselves from those who preach violence.
Buhari spoke on Sunday during his Eid-el-Kabir message to the nation, as made available by his Special Assistant On New Media, Bashir Ahmad, via his verified Twitter handle, @BashirAhmaad.
The President stated, “I wish all Muslims in Nigeria and around the world happy and joyous Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
“The greatest commitment Muslims can show to Islam is to put its good virtues into practice, and to make justice and righteousness the guiding principle of everyday life.
“Muslims should strive to be the mirror through which others see the good virtues of our faith.
“Islam is a religion of peace, and we should reject violent extremist ideas that give Islam a wrong name, because our conduct leaves more lasting positive impressions than our words.”
Continuing, the President said, “The only way we can neutralise the evil that is violent extremism is to distance ourselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach violence against innocent people — which flies in the face of the teachings of Islam.
“Boko Haram became a deadly force and a major security scourge because Muslim societies were indifferent from the beginning to the activities of extremist preachers who manipulate innocent and gullible followers.
“Extremism is like a cancer, which must be detected and destroyed from its early stages of growth.
“It is noteworthy that despite occasional setbacks, Boko Haram have been so militarily weakened and scattered by our Armed Forces that they are no longer in a position to occupy any part of Nigeria, let alone hoist their flag and impose their reign of terror longer than 24 hours.
“As our armed forces get more equipped and trained, in addition to being more motivated and reinvigorated, this administration is relentlessly committed to protecting Nigerians, no matter what it takes to bring a permanent end to this evil.
“And this assurance applies not only to Boko Haram terrorism, but also to the challenges of kidnapping, cultism and other forms of banditry.
“All will be dealt with uncompromisingly, until we see the back of these evils plaguing our country.”