By ABU NMODU, Minna and SALIHI ABUBAKAR BELLO, Kano
Former head of state, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd), the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji (Dr) Yahaya Abubakar and the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Dr Umar Farouk Bahago, yesterday called on Muslims to pray and work for Nigeria’s unity and progress.
Speaking after a special prayer to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, they also stressed the need for every Nigerian to work for peaceful coexistence and progress of the country.
Specifically, the former head of state expressed joy over the recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari and asked Nigerians to continue to pray for more strength for the rresident as he settles down to work.
He also asked Nigerians to pray for former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), who has been on medical vacation in Switzerland and Germany for a safe return.
Also, the Etsu Nupe, after the two Rakat Eid prayers led by the Chief Imam of Bida, Sheik Adama Yakatun, charged the people on unity, even as he expressed optimism that with prayers, Nigeria will attain her potential.
He stated that Nigerians should tolerate one another, work together and be able to harness the potentials as a progressive nation, adding that the citizens should build bridges of brotherhood for the nation’s unity.
The royal father appealed to wealthy individuals in the country to assist the less privileged, adding that the present socio-economic situation requires being a brother’s keeper.
The monarch also charged the people of his domain to send their children to school to acquire both western and religious knowledge, saying “it is through education that they can learn how to live a good and discipline life”
On his part, the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Farouk Bahago has also called on youths to embrace peaceful coexistence with those living in their domain, saying that the recent utterance by some youths on Nigeria unity was unfortunate.
The Emir who stated this in his Sallah message to the people of his domain shortly after he returned to his palace after observing the eid-el-kabir prayers led by the Chief Imam of Minna Sheik Ibrahim Isah Fari urged youths not to react to calls by some people based on tribal, religious, cultural or even ideological differences.
“As a law abiding community, we should avoid reacting to any provocation that could lead to unrest or crisis among us because there is no gain in conflict”, he said.
The Emir posited that God in his wisdom decided that Nigerians should live peacefully together in Nigeria as a country, adding that “we should therefore, know that he has plan for that and whoever is trying to jeopardize God’s will knows the consequences that awaits him”.
The Emir emphasised the importance of agriculture and the need for the youths to engage in agriculture, dry or rain farming, and that they should seize the golden opportunity of the agricultural potential of the state to go back to farm and check unemployment and restiveness.
Meanwhile, His Highness (Sarkin Kano),the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has reechoed the call on Nigerians to defend and stand for Nigeria’s unity at all cost.
The Emir said this during his Sallah address shortly after the Eid prayer and brief horse riding (Durbah) in Kano yesterday.
He asked Nigerians to be united despite misleading agitations and comments that are detrimental to unity and development.
Sanusi advised the general public to ignore unsubstantiated statements or mere allegations against any or nation.
According to him, youths must be responsible citizens and thus embrace various trading activities to keep themselves busy and self-reliant, saying government cannot provide employment to all.
He decried the current hardship being experienced by Nigerians, praying that the bumper harvest being expected this year will bring ease to Nigerians.