Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has urged Muslims to exhibit peace, mutual respect and tolerance as they celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.
Mr Abubakar, who stated this in a statement on Monday, asked them to remember that the season is one to give thanks to the Almighty God “for sparing our lives as individuals and families to celebrate.”
According to him, “Eid-el-Kabir teaches and reminds us of the meaning of sacrifice, love, and forbearance with God and in our relationships with one another.
“As Muslims more especially, Eid-el-Kabir and the stories of Prophets Ibrahim and Ishmael (Peace and Blessings of Allah be with them) that accompany it requires that we take the whole of humanity as one nation,” he wrote in a statement personally signed by him.
Aside Mr Abubakar, leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have felicitated with the Muslim faithful on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
In his message, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, called for prayers and unity of purpose among Nigerians at this period of Eid-el-Kabir.
Mr Gbajabiamila, in a statement signed by his media aide, Lanre Lasisi, in Abuja on Monday, urged Nigerians to conduct themselves in a patriotic manner as they do not have another country apart from Nigeria.
He urged Muslims to use the opportunity of the Eid-el-Kabir to pray for their leaders to be able to find solutions to the nation’s problems.
He called on Muslims to imbibe the habit of sacrifice and love for one another as characterised by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“I congratulate my Muslim compatriots for marking this year’s Eid-el-Kabir. This is a time for us to be more united as a people,” he said.
“As Muslims, we must make frantic efforts to emulate the virtues of the Holy Prophet, whose life is a perfect example of what we all should be.
“The act of sacrifice, one of the major lessons of the Eid-el-Kabir, should be part of our lives at all times. We must make sacrifices for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbours and of course, our country.
“I enjoin all of us to continue to be good citizens and make meaningful contributions for our continuous peaceful coexistence.”
The APC caretaker chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, in his message, urged Muslims to have deep reflection and celebrate in harmony.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Mamman Mohammed, Mr Buni said the celebration teaches love, sacrifice, honesty, and generosity.
He urged Nigerians to support each other irrespective of political and socio-cultural differences to entrench national unity and cohesion, saying “there is great strength in our diversity.”
Mr. Buni said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was committed to restoring peace and security across the country, adding that security matters should not be politicised.
“I appeal to Nigerians to support, cooperate and encourage the security operatives in their patriotic duty of ensuring security and safety across the country” he said.
“The Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee would ensure the programmes of the party are meticulously executed with every member given a sense of belonging. We are committed to building a strong political party that would stand the test of time to win elections and make us all proud” the APC leader assured.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, asked Nigerians to intensify prayers for the nation’s democracy.
He said that “the blood of thousands of innocent souls being wasted daily in our land at various troubled spots particularly the stress of school children in the North, should be enough mitigation to plead to God to save this country from destruction.
“Nigerians should also use the period to offer fervent prayers for the unity and stability of the nation which is seriously under threat due to insecurity and biting economic hardship arising from poor leadership,” he said in a statement signed by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, on Monday.
He stated further, “an intense prayer for our dear country has become very necessary more than ever before as our nationhood is in dire need of divine intervention to survive.
“Our economy is already under severe stress, the currency is losing value daily, unemployment and inflation rising and the APC leadership does not seem to possess the capacity to confront the challenges.”
Mr Secondus implored Nigerians not to despair and miss the essence and meaning of Eid-el-Kabir festivity and the divine succour it brings, assuring that there is always a light at the end of every tunnel.
In his message, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State urged Nigerians to embrace the cherished virtues of love, peace, charity and sacrifice as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
He stressed that “the significance of the Islamic celebration has a huge positive impact in enhancing the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria as well as the nation’s efforts in surmounting its security, socio-economic and public health challenges.”
Mr Ugwuanyi also called for a secure, peaceful and healthy celebration, and advised Nigerians to stay safe and adhere strictly to all precautionary measures put in place to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina kicked against interference of foreign powers and other international organisations in the affairs of the country.
The governor, in a statement by his spokesperson, Abdu Labaran, said “no responsible citizen, least of all those who are the foremost beneficiaries of the commonwealth, would encourage foreign powers to interfere in the internal affairs of their nation, regardless of its adversities.”
Mr Masari called on Nigerian elites “to borrow a leaf from their counterparts in those foreign countries and guard Nigeria’s sovereignty jealously.
“Those climes, the leading citizens partner with the government to protect and advance national interest. They do not go to the market place to expose the perceived inadequacy of their leaders.”
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State called for tolerance and religious harmony at all times, stating that with the Eid-el-Kabir, the Almighty Allah (SWT) is teaching humanity about the virtues of total submission to His will.
He said human beings must learn to put God first in all situations.
“The Eid-el-Kabir presents an opportunity for us to reflect on the faith, with which Ibrahim (Abraham) willingly agreed to sacrifice his only son and was set to let go of his prized asset, just in obedience to the command of Allah (SWT),” the governor said in a statement by spokesperson by Taiwo Adisa on Monday.
“It was regrettable that Muslims in the state and across the country cannot observe the 2021 Hajj in Saudi Arabia as a result of COVID-19. This situation should be seen as part of the sacrifice we all have to make at this time, as a way of emulating Prophet Ibrahim.
“But despite the current COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the whole world, the Almighty Allah (SWT) allowed Muslims in Oyo State to join the Muslim Ummah in making supplications for the forgiveness of our sins. I am grateful to my Muslim brothers and sisters and residents of the state for remaining steadfast despite the situation imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We should ensure the wearing of face and nose masks, regular washing of hands and ensuring social distancing. We must abide by the advisories already issued by the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force and adopt the Own Your Action (OYA) slogan in order to save ourselves and our community from the pangs of the pandemic,” Mr Makinde said.
The Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, urged Muslims to take cognisance of the symbolic significance of the festival and imbibe the lessons of obedience and sacrifice as demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan, enjoined Muslims to “use the celebration to pray to Allah to save the country from the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity and other challenges facing the nation, just as he emphasised the need for unity, love, tolerance and peaceful co-existence among people in the State and Nigerians in general.”
He added, “In the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir celebration, I enjoin us all to respect our differences in terms of religion, tribe or political affiliation, and embrace love, unity, tolerance and peaceful co-existence. In diversity lies our strength.
“As we mark the Eid-el-Kabir festival, let’s be mindful that the pandemic is still here with us. We must therefore abide by all safety protocols as we celebrate. While the State Government has allowed for praying grounds to be opened, we must ensure that the prayers are observed in strict compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.”
Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, urged Nigerians to see peace as one of the major ingredients that would make democracy thrive.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Eromosele Ebhomele, the Speaker said “we complain about a dwindling economy today, but the truth is that restiveness, banditry, terrorism, kidnappings and general insecurity are some of the major causes.
“It is not difficult to know that no nation can thrive or succeed when it is violence-ridden Just as citizens must begin to live in peace and neighbourliness, we, as leaders, must also not nap, we must not sleep on ideas to make the country great.
“We must show perfect examples of love for country and sacrifice to humanity as Islam teaches.”
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