President Muhammadu Buhari says the rapid development of Nigeria beyond ethnicity, religion and geographical lines, will remain a driving force for his administration.

Buhari gave the assurance when he received Sheikh Ahmed Tijjani Ibrahim Inyass, the Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

He acknowledged the overwhelming support of Nigerians and the confidence reposed in his administration.

He said: “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 thanked the religious leader from Senegal for the visit and underscored the importance of the religious group in promoting good governance in the country.

Buhari said: “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.”

In his remarks, the Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya, commended the president for his efforts toward transforming Nigeria, adding ‘‘it is evident for all to see”.

Tijjaniya added: “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.”

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.

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