A former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, wants citizens of Africa’s most populous nation to pray and work toward the nation’s unity, as Muslims celebrate Eid-el-Fitr.

His admonition is coming at a time that groups are agitating for secession from the entity called Nigeria.

It was part of his message to Nigerians, as he addressed a delegation of former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ministers Forum in Abuja on Monday.

One thing that Nigerians are looking forward to is the day that the economy will blossom again.

But the immediate past president warned that no nation’s economy could grow where there was no peace.

“We should always use this period to know that the unity of the country is paramount.

“We cannot develop as a nation, no matter how people demonstrate, and no president can do magic, if there is tension in the land.

“This is because, immediately there is sense of insecurity in any country, investors will go back and when investors go back, of course, the economy will dwindle.

“What improves the economy is confidence and what makes investors to have confidence is peace.

“Nobody wants to invest where there is no peace, except those that invest in arms and ammunition.

“We should all pray and work toward that peace, that is the only way we can grow our economy,” Jonathan said.

Issues Of National Interest

He commended the former ministers for forming the forum and for finding time to celebrate Sallah with his family.

The former president was elated, seeing former ministers coming together under a unique platform.

“We should begin to reduce the cleavages and fault lines and form a political body that will look at things with national interest,” Jonathan said.

He, however, congratulated all Muslim brothers and sisters in Nigeria for the successful completion of Ramadan fast and the Sallah celebration.

The delegation comprises former ministers from 1999 to 2015.

The chairman of the forum, Tanimu Turaki, said they had come to share with Jonathan issues of national interest.

“Nigerians are beginning to appreciate the efforts you made in moving this country forward.

“Nigerians are still getting more aware of the enormous sacrifice you made to ensure that Nigeria remained together as one indivisible and indissoluble nation,” he said.

Also, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, described Jonathan as a great leader who had encouraged many Nigerians.

“You still have so much to offer this country. The future is great for us, for PDP and this country,” Mr Fani-Kayode added.