A host of top government functionaries and others have felicitated with Nigerians on this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.
Muslim faithful across the world marked the successful completion of the holy month of Ramadan on Sunday.
The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the ruling All Progressives Congress, South-East Governors’ Forum, among others, complimented Nigerians and sued for a lasting peace amongst all ethnic groups and regions.
“I appeal to all to show a true sense of patriotism for national cohesion to ensure that Nigeria attains the greatness for which it was destined,” Mrs. Buhari said in a statement signed by her spokesperson, Suleiman Haruna.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Saturday sent his greetings from his medical shelter in London, and urged all citizens to live in peace.
Mrs. Buhari used her Sallah message to thank Nigerians once again for their fervent prayers for her ailing husband.
Other leaders also used their respective messages to highlight the benefits of a united Nigeria and reiterate peaceful coexistence.
This year’s Sallah came as ethnic and tribal tension heightened across the country amidst agitation for secession by some groups.
The country is yet to recover from the fallout of an ultimatum some disgruntled youth in Northern Nigeria issued against Nigerians of Igbo origin living in the region to vacate.
Although leaders from the country’s nooks and crannies raced to slap down the June 6 provocative demand, many of them still used their latest messages to preach peace and harmony.
Mr. Dogara said Nigeria’s diversity must be seen “as a source of strength.”
The citizens should “continue to promote and strengthen the unity, peace and progress of the country at all times,” the Speaker added in a statement signed by his media aide, Turaki Hassan.
The South-East Governors’ Forum called on Muslim faithful to embrace peace and live in unity with their Christian brethren as they mark this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
“We implore our Muslim brethren to remember the lessons of love, sacrifice and dedication to prayers for self and others which should remain with us at all times especially at this time that the country is battling a myriad of challenges which require the utmost patriotic intervention of the entire citizenry,” the forum said in a statement issued by David Umahi, its chairman and governor of Ebonyi State.
Mr. Umahi, whose region has been the cradle of secession agitation in recent years, assured all Hausa residents across the South-East of maximum support and safety of their lives and businesses.
The All Progressives Congress also called on Nigerians to remain peaceful and patient, while acknowledging harsh economic realities.
“The economic progress and development the country seeks cannot be achieved in a state of rancour, disunity and discord,” Bolaji Abdullahi, spokesperson of the party, said in a statement.
Governor Yahaya Bello also sent in his greetings to Nigerians from Kogi State, alongside former Governor Gbenga Daniel from Ogun State.
The two leaders urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of the season by eschewing violent conduct at all times.