Ahead of the Eid-El-Kabir celebrations, which start tomorrow, Governors of the South-east and South-south states have sued for peace, unity and religious tolerance amongst Nigerians.
The governors in their separate goodwill messages to Muslims also urged Nigerians to shun hate speeches and collaborate with government to move the nation forward.
The Chairman of the South-east Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, in his message identified unity and religious tolerance as a panacea to achieving peace and development.
Governor Umahi in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, described unity and religious tolerance as needed for achieving cohesion and peace in any country and called on Muslim faithful to preach peace as they celebrate this year’s Eid Kabir.
He also used the occasion to preach for unity among all segments of Nigerian society which he said has been dangerously divided along religious, political and ethnic lines and called on all Muslim faithful to use the opportunity created by the celebration judiciously.
Mr Umahi further cautioned against various salient and incipient divisive tendencies that have over the years fuelled various agitations in the country and called for equity and justice in every part of the country irrespective of religious, political and ethnic lines.
The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, in his own message also charged Nigerians to shun hate speeches and collaborate with the government to surmount the plethora of problems bedevilling the nation.
The governor, who stated this in a goodwill message issued in Asaba on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, stressed the need for Nigerians to be their brothers’ keepers.
“I call on all Muslims and indeed Nigerians to use the period to reflect on the various challenges facing the nation. It takes the concerted efforts of all to achieve meaningful development in any nation especially in a period of economic recession.
“We must shun hate speeches because when these types of speeches are heard outside the shores of the country, it will discourage foreign direct investments and make local investors to be cautious which will further endanger our fragile economy.”
“This season calls for forgiveness and love for one another. There is a need for Nigerians to be united and be their brothers’ keeper in spite of all odds. The faithful should use the opportunity of this Eid-el-Kabir to deepen their faith in Allah and renew the spirit of obeisance to the will of the Almighty in accordance with the inimitable faith of Prophet Ibrahim.”
Mr. Okowa also commended Muslims in the State for their peaceful disposition and industry, which he added has contributed to the development of the State, assuring them of adequate security of lives and property at all times.
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has also urged Muslims to use the period to continue to promote and abide by the core values of Islam for the sustenance of peace, progress and unity of the country.
Mr Ugwuanyi in a Sallah message noted that there is every reason for the country to celebrate the goodness of God, pointing out that the continuous engagement of both Christians and Muslims in prayers for the sustainability of the peace, unity and development of the country, has ultimately proved that with God all things are possible.
The governor called on Nigerians to continue to love and live in peace and harmony with one another irrespective of religious and socio-political differences; saying that the country’s source of strength is both in its diversity and a commitment to ensure that “the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain.”
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in his own Sallah Message on Thursday, urged the Muslim Community to pray for the unity and peace of the nation as they celebrate.
The governor called on the Muslim faithful to use the celebrations to rededicate themselves to the ideals of peace, security and friendship.
He assured that the state government and security agencies have put in place security measures to ensure a peaceful celebration.
Governor Wike also commended the Muslim community in Rivers for their consistent support for his administration.