PMB, Govs, Others Preach Unity At Sallah
President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors yesterday implored Nigerians to rise above personal, group, sectarian and other interests as well as promote harmony and tolerance in dealing with one another at all times. In his Eid-el-Kabir message to the nation, Buhari urged all Muslims to use the Sallah celebrations for sober reflection and self-examination, even as he said the should strive to be good ambassadors of their religion by upholding high moral values He reminded Muslims that this felicitous occasion of Eid-ul-Adha is a remembrance of the submission of Prophet Ibrahim Allaihis-Salam to Allah, his Creator, by which he taught the world the value of sacrifice in relating with one another when it comes to nation-building. “We must sacrifice for others and remember always those who are less fortunate than ourselves,” a statement by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, quoted the president as saying. President Buhari observed that religion is a major factor in influencing human behaviour towards good conduct and actions. He, however, regretted that selfishness, greed and corruption have overwhelmed human souls to the extent that people abandon their religious beliefs in pursuit of their greed. The president stressed that fighting corruption is a task that must be done in order to protect the larger interests of the ordinary Nigerians who are the worst victims of diseases, poverty, malnutrition and other afflictions. He said surrendering to corruption is not an option because it destroys society and progress of nations. “Even if some people hate you for fighting corruption, you should not chicken out from the task as a leader because doing so is a betrayal of public trust”, he added. On the current economic challenges facing Nigerians, the president reassured that they are temporary because the welfare of the people is the main thrust of the change agenda of the administration. To buttress this point, Buhari cited the many initiatives unfolded by the administration under the Social Investment Programme (SIP) among which was the recent decision to distribute recovered stolen funds to the poor against the past practices of re-looting such funds by some people in authority. On his part, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, urged Nigerians to use the Sallah occasion to reestablish the pillars of love and tolerance for which Islam is known. He enjoined Muslims to reflect on the teachings of Allah (SWT), noting that peaceful coexistence and understanding as well as sustained prayers among citizens are essential in harnessing the country’s abundant resources as a people to move the country forward. Felicitating with Nigerians, especially the Muslim Ummah in Kogi State on this year’s celebration of Eid-el-Kabir, the governor praised the patience and steadfastness of Muslims in spite of the difficult economic times the nation is going through. Asking Kogites to cooperate with government for sustained peace and stability of the state, he said, “Our Government is working round the clock to reposition Kogi State for rapid growth and development. “The support for small businesses, youth and women empowerment, and our Agricultural Revolution programs are all designed to reinvigorate the economy and enhance living standards. “We are positive that Kogi State will soon overcome its current economic challenges which will eventually translate to improved standard of living for citizens”. Governor Bello congratulated all believers who have successfully undertaken the Hajj this year as enjoined by Prophet Mohammed (May Peace Be Upon Him). He added that Nigerians should go beyond seeing the Eid-el-Kabir festival as just another public holiday and an annual ritual for wining and dinning and use the period for spiritual renaissance and deep reflection on the tenets of holiness, love and peace as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim. Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, urged all Nigerians to embrace religious tolerance to promote peace across the country and enhance national development. Felicitating with Nigerian Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, he urged them to emulate the Holy Prophet Mohammed by imbibing the ideals of sacrifice exemplified by the Prophet. In a Sallah message signed by his special assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the governor said Eid-el-Kabir is a season of love, peace, togetherness and sacrifice, just as he prayde God to use this Sallah period to impact positively on their lives of Nigerians. He assured the people of Rivers State that the state government will work with the security agencies to ensure that all citizens celebrate the Sallah in peace and harmony. Wike congratulated the Muslim community in Rivers State on the Sallah celebration, assuring them that his administration will continue to partner with them to move the state forward. Also, Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, urged Muslims to imbibe the lessons of total submission and obedience to the will of Almighty Allah and promote the principle of being one another’s keepers. The governor, in a statement issued by his chief press secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, congratulated Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir festival, wishing them a peaceful and happy celebration. Ahmed who emphasised the need to devote oneself to the services of the Supreme Being and pray for the unity, peace, progress and stability of Nigeria as the country approaches another period of general election in the country, enjoined everyone to participate actively in the forth-coming elections by making sure that they obtain their PVC. “Let’s guide against hate speech, thuggery and violence but imbibe lessons of the season and pray for a free, fair and credible elections in 2019 and beyond,” the governor said. Also, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, asked Muslim faithful to deepen their relationship with Allah, promote a life of sacrifice, charity and love as exemplified by Prophet Mohammed. Felicitating with Muslims on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, he assured that the state government has put in place measures to guarantee that everyone is secure in the state during the celebration of this significant event and beyond. “Eid-el-Kabir offers our Muslim brothers and sisters yet another opportunity to deepen their relationship with Allah, promote a life of sacrifice, charity and love as exemplified by Prophet Mohammed”, Obaseki stated. The governor urged all Muslim faithful to support his administration’s vision to build a prosperous state where all Edo people and residents would realise their dreams through the various socio-economic growth initiatives and the prudent allocation of the state’s resources. On his part, Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, harped on peace and sacrifice as Muslims in Nigeria join their counterparts round the world to mark the occasion. He charged Muslims in Nigeria to imbibe the spirit of love, obedience, sacrifice and sharing that the celebration of Eid-el Kabir signifies in line with the principle of Islam. In his Sallah message signed by his chief press secretary, Mr Christian Ita, the governor charged Muslims and Nigerians to be ready to make the sacrifices necessary for the progress of the country, which is currently passing through challenging times. He advised Nigerians to keep aside all forms of religious, ethnic and tribal sentiments, in the interest of unity, progress, peace and prosperity of the Country. The governor said, “The Eid-el-Kabir presents an opportunity for Muslim faithful to reflect on the faith, which prophet Ibrahim dutifully agreed to sacrifice his son in obedience to the command of Allah. “May I use this period of Eid-el Kabir to speak to our souls and remind us that our nation is going through challenges and all of us must play our role to overcome these challenges. “As a government we have provided a peaceful, conducive environment for all citizens to cohabit irrespective of their religion, tribe or ethnic coloration in Cross River State.” Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, urged the Muslim community to expand the spiritual benefits of Sallah by ensuring and promoting peaceful co-existence with each other and people of other faiths and shun violence and religious conflicts in whatever form they may manifest. In his goodwill message signed by his media adviser, Mr Sola Fasure, the governor urged the Muslim faithful to uphold their obedience to Allah in the spirit of forgiveness for one another. Aregbesola described Islam as a religion that upholds the spirit of love, peace and charity and preach harmonious living relationship with other religions adherents. He commended the Muslim community in Osun for supporting his administration and for being good citizens. He said, “Let me congratulate all Muslim on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir Festival. I want you to use the occasion of the festival to demonstrate that the world is united by our common humanity. “You have demonstrated that you are patriotic Nigerians with your peaceful conduct, obedience to the laws of the land and invaluable contribution to development of our country. You should continue to pray fervently for those things that would promote unity of the country, and pray against things that threaten the existence of Nigeria”. As Muslims, the world over celebrates Eid-el-Kabir, the All Progressives Congress (APC) APC yesterday urged Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of love, sacrifice and peaceful coexistence. This, it said, is the only way meaningful and true development could be achieved in the country. In its message to felicitate with Muslim faithful and Nigerians on the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir, the party, through the acting national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, urged all Nigerians to continuously support and pray for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in its determination to steer the country on the right path and deliver his election promises. APC said, “On this momentous occasion, we share below the inspiring message by Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, the 83-year old Islamic cleric who courageously saved the lives of over 300 multi-faith people in Nghar village, Barkin Ladi local government area, Plateau State when conflict broke out there in June. “The holy prophet Mohammed lived in peace and harmony with diverse groups of different faiths. In following his teaching and steps, we must all appreciate the fact that the Almighty Allah created us with our diversities”. Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Eid el-Kabir to support one another in the spirit of love, unity, sacrifice and dedication to the Almighty Allah as exemplified in the life of Ibrahim and the teachings of the Holy Prophet Mohammed. The party also called on the citizens to remember and assist the hurting, particularly the sick, aged and victims of unfortunate violent attacks and natural disasters that have ravaged the nation in recent time. A statement signed by the national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, also charged spiritual and political leaders across the country to use the occasion to shed all selfish proclivities and rededicate themselves to the service of the people, especially in the prudent and transparent management of the resources with which the Almighty Allah blessed our nation for the good of the people. “Indeed, the Almighty Allah, in His benevolence, has abundantly bestowed our nation with abundant human and natural resources. Our citizens should therefore not live in insecurity, poverty and lack, if leaders, especially, at the federal level, imbibe the fear of God, as demonstrated in the lesson of Eid el-Kabir, and put the interest and welfare of the people above personal gains”, PDP stated. For his part, former military president, Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), admonished politicians against unguarded utterances that are capable of throwing the nation into jeopardy. In his Sallah Message, IBB urged Muslims to use the unique virtue of sacrifice of Eid-el-Kabir to further unite and strengthen the Nation. According to him, it is a unique and important festivity in the last lap of Islamic calendar year for all Muslims globally to make sacrifices and religious rites. The former military president said, “It is our collective duty during this sacred month and period of devotion to glorify Allah and adhere to our religious teachings by maintaining peace, protecting the sanctity of human life and unite to solve the problems bedeviling us collectively as a nation. “Political gladiators should not allow their personal political ambitions overshadow their sense of reasoning and to be guided in their utterances as such speeches are capable of plundering our polity in jeopardy especially during electioneering period. “At this auspicious occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, I urged all Nigerians from all works of life or political affiliations to be in the Vanguard of peace, unity and work for rancour free polls in the build up to the forthcoming political dispensation.” Also, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) felicitated with the Muslim Ummah in the country as they celebrate the 2018 Id-el-Kabir. A statement signed by its president, Rev Samson Ayokunle, CAN reminded Muslim faithful in the country that the festival was to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God who commanded him to do so with a view to tempting him. CAN urged all Nigerian Muslims to remember the sacrificial lifestyle of Abraham as they rejoice and celebrate. It stressed that no sacrifice is too great to promote peace, harmony, love, unity, forgiveness and accommodation in their relationship with those who are non-Muslims. “God must have reasons for allowing both Christianity and Islam to co-exist in the country. We appeal to the adherents of both religions to embrace peace and love”, the statement reads in part.