President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday canvassed a better, peaceful and united Nigeria in their Eid messages.
Muslims will today mark Eid Fitri – the ceremony that signals end of Ramadan and the beginning of Islamic month of Shawal.
Yesterday, however, a section of the Muslim faithful in Ibadan and Abuja held the rakah prayers.
Governors and other categories of leaders urged citizens to ensure peace.
The President also called for prayers to end insecurity, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality.
President Buhari in his message made available by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, “urged Nigerians to pray to God to help the country overcome the vices of banditry, kidnapping and the machinations of some elements seeking to acquire political power through divisive ploys”.
“I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.
“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians, are imperative, especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges, which are surmountable only when we come together as one.
“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions for their own selfish advantages.
“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power, expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.
“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”
According to the President, it is noteworthy and delightful to see Christians breaking fast and in some instances, extending goodwill and gifts to Muslim faithful during the Ramadan.
“This model also shone through with Muslim groups joining Christian festivities. These are practices that promote brotherhood and forgiveness,” he was quoted as saying.
He urged Nigerians to continue to observe all COVID-19 prevention measures and celebrate responsibly during the holidays.
In a message by his media Adviser (Media) Ola Awoniyi, the senate president said: “Every true Muslim feels joy at participating in the Ramadan fast, which is a key obligation in Islam.
“May Almighty Allah therefore reward us for the spiritual voyage and grant our earnest wishes for ourselves, families and dear country.
“Because of the current security and economic challenges, our country Nigeria needs the prayers of every patriot now more than ever before to achieve the peace, unity and progress that were the dreams of the founding fathers.
“I assure us that the Government, including the National Assembly, will not waver in its determination to provide robust security in the country that guarantees every law abiding citizen the liberty to live in peace and pursue their legitimate businesses anywhere they choose.
“Let us remain strong in our hope that Nigeria will become what we fervently want it to be: a nation that fills its citizens with happiness and pride.”
Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheik AbdulGaniy Agbotomokekere, led the prayers at the Agodi Prayer Ground, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Deputy Governor Rauf Olaniyan, Head of Service Mrs Amidat Ololade Agboola, Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Abiodun Abdulraheem, Deputy Chief of Staff Mojeed Mogbanjubola, Special Adviser (Culture and Tourism) Akeem Ige, Senior Special Assistant (SDG) Kunle Yussuf, Special Assistant (Islamic Affairs) Alhaji Abdulrashid Abdulazeez and other government officials joined the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, a former Deputy Governor, Hazeem Gbolarunmi and the Southwest Zonal Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, to observe the prayers.
Ex-Governor Rashidi Ladoja, Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta, Alhaji Daud Makanjuola, and others, however, stayed away in compliance with the directive of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) that the prayers should be observed today.
A government official said it would have been shameful if the government officials ignored the Chief Imam’s call.
Sheikh Agbotomokekere, after leading the prayer, urged Muslim faithful to always seek knowledge about Islam as a religion. He urged Nigerians to desist from all forms of sins.
Sheik Agbotomokekere said: “What is not right is not right. Some of us are still doing what is not right and they are not bothered, whereas what is not good has no other name other than it is bad.
“Some people that are not in their right senses will say today is not a Sallah day. Some people are worshipping human being instead of God, there is no way you can be worshipping human beings and think you are worshipping God.
Culled from the Nation News