By Our Correspondents
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians to rise against the odds by keeping prejudices and intolerance aside for the growth and development of the country.
In his message to the nation to mark this year’s Eid-El-Kabir, President Buhari also expressed appreciation to Nigerians who prayed for his recovery when he was in London for medical vacation.
“On the joyous occasion of this year’s Eid-El-Kabir celebration, I appeal to all Nigerians to rise against the odds, keep our prejudices aside and strengthen the bonds of friendship and unity to keep our country together”, he stated.
He felicitated with all Nigerians, particularly the Muslim faithful, on the celebration of this year’s Sallah, even as he congratulated those he described as “our Muslim brothers and sisters who are currently in Saudi Arabia to participate in the rites of the Hajj”.
Thanking Nigerians for their prayers for him, the president said, “From the outset, I want to use this opportunity to thank all Nigerians who prayed for my recovery and have continued to extend their goodwill and support after my return to the country.
“Indeed, your fervent and sincere prayers, which cut across religion, political and ethnic divides, has energised me to re-dedicate myself and this administration to the task of building a great Nigeria”.
President Buhari also reminded Muslims all over the world that the Eid-El-Kabir celebration is meant to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet (Abraham) Ibrahim.
He said, “As we celebrate, I sincerely believe that our nation can make rapid progress on all fronts if we re-enact the exemplary virtues, typified by Prophet (Abraham) Ibrahim, through his sacrifice, patience, steadfastness, generosity and obedience to Allah’s command and constituted authority.
“We must learn to see ourselves as brothers and sisters from the same heritage, who must come to terms with the African proverb that ‘‘a family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break.
“Once again, I assure you that this administration, which has made the security, economic well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians its priority, will not rest on its oars until we see the Nigeria of our dream. I wish everyone happy Sallah celebrations”.
Saraki, Dogara, Govs Preach Peace, Unity
Also, in the spirit of the Eid-El-Kabir celebration, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and governors of the 36 states of the federation have urged Nigerians to embrace peace and ensure that the country remains united.
Saraki admonished all Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the dreams and aspirations of building a strong, united, economically viable and politically stable country.
His deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, enjoined Nigerians to eschew all forms of recrimination and imbibe self-sacrifice, forgiveness and other higher virtues that can promote national unity and development.
Saraki and Ekweremadu stated this in their message of felicitation to Muslim faithful on the occasion of this year’s Eid- El-Kabir.
They urged all Nigerians irrespective of religion to use the occasion to pray for the greater glory of the country.
Saraki stated that the Muslim festival which falls on Jummat day (Friday) is unique as it carries a dual promise that all prayers offered during the Eid and Jummat have a double assurance of bringing Allah’s blessing to Muslim faithful and their country.
“It is significant that the Eid-El-Kabir and Jummat will be celebrated in one day,” Saraki said. “This tells us that all prayers offered during this solemn day will no doubt command double mercies of Allah towards us all.”
He further called on all Muslims to seek Allah’s grace for the peace, unity, security and economic development of the country.
Enjoining Nigerians to pray for the good health of President Muhammadu Buhari and God’s guidance for all persons in positions of authority, from the Presidency to the wards, he said the prayers be directed also to all those piloting affairs in the private sector of the economy.
On his part, Speaker Dogara admonished Muslim faithful to use the Eid- el-Kabir Sallah festival to promote unity, tolerance, peaceful coexistence and the spirit of sacrifice.
This is just as the deputy Speaker,Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, wished all Muslim faithful happiness, peace and prosperity on this blessed occasion of Eid Mubarak.
Dogara, in his Sallah message, said Nigeria could only fulfill its great potentials as a nation if the citizens continue to foster unity, peace, security and stability as well as show greater respect and love for one another.
“This is a moment for sober reflections; I enjoin you to use the period to uphold the spiritual benefit of the celebration by extending a hand of friendship and solidarity across all divides and imbibing the spirit of sacrifice and obedience to the higher authority as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim and upheld by Prophet Muhammed”, he said.
While wishing the Muslim Ummah a blessed and peaceful Sallah celebration, the Speaker reiterated his call for sustained prayers for the leadership of the country at all levels.
For his part, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State called on Nigerian Muslims to use the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir for sober reflection and introspection.
“Occasions like the Eid-el-Kabir call for not only celebration but also sober reflection and introspection so that we may fully appreciate where we are coming from, where we are, and where we are heading to”, the governor said in his Sallah message.
Masari also charged Muslims to use the occasion to rededicate themselves spiritually, morally and physically so that the country may surmount the many challenges threatening its corporate existence.
He said, “It is important that we do not allow religious, ethnic or regional differences to blind us from our commonality, shared values and shared space. As a vehicle for the advancement of humanity, religion should accordingly be used as a unifying not dividing force for the good of all”.
Kwara State governor, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed, congratulated Muslims on the celebration of the Eld-el-Kabir festival, urging them to be peaceful, generous, law-abiding and prayerful.
In his Sallah Message, Ahmed who urged Muslims to pray for safe return of pilgrims from the holy land, said Nigerians should be ambassadors of a united and prosperous Nigeria rather than engage in hate and inciting speeches or fan embers of disunity.
He said, “The opportunity by Allah to enable us witness yet another celebration should be used to pray for peace and unity in the country.
“We should use this occasion to appreciate God by being tolerant and being our neighbours’ keepers, assist the needy and the poor and give support to government programmes and policies aimed at making life more comfortable to the people”.
Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, admonished Nigerians to shun acts capable of disrupting the unity, togetherness and peaceful co-existence of the country.
In his message to Islamic faithful on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, Ajimobi said that it is only in an atmosphere of peace and unity that the country could achieve the desired greatness.
He condemned what he called hate speeches and the ember of discord being stoked by ethnic agitators in some parts of the country.
Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, called on Muslims in Nigeria to imbibe the values of sacrifice, love and continue to foster unity as they join their counterparts worldwide to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival.
In his Sallah message, Ambode said the period of the celebration was a clarion call for Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of the season such as selfless service to God and humanity, sacrifice and sincere commitment to righteous conducts in their private and public life.
He explained that the significance of the season should be beyond the festivities, adding that as Muslims prepare to offer animal sacrifice in the prescribed days of the festival, the real essence was not in the meat or the blood of the animal but to encourage piety, self-discipline and sacrifice.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State felicitated with Muslims on the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir, urging them 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.
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.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State said it is yet another opportunity for Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the service of the almighty to heal the pains in the land.
The governor in his Sallah message also felicitated with Muslims adherents on behalf of the state.
Obaseki noted that in a bid to ensure that the celebration is hitch-free, the government has put measures in place to guarantee safety of all during the celebrations of the all-important event.
“I urge you all to rededicate yourselves to the service of Almighty Allah and continue to manifest the essence of Eid-el-Kabir, which is obedience to God’s command and the expression of love towards all”, he stated.
On his part, the chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, identified unity and religious tolerance as panacea to achieving peace and development.
He felicitated with all Muslim faithful across the country as they celebrate this year’s Eid –Kabir.
The governor described unity and religious tolerance as sinequanon to achieving cohesion and peace in any country and called on Muslim in the country to preach peace as they celebrate this year’s Eid Kabir.
APC Felicitates With Muslim Faithful
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated Muslims in the country on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
In a goodwill message signed by the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the party reminded Nigerians that the Eid-el-Kabir is a time to celebrate the love and grace of Almighty Allah to mankind through sacrifice, devotion and faith.
He also called on all Nigerians to pray for the well-being of the country and good health of President Muhammadu Buhari, while urging citizens to eschew all forms of violence, live in peaceful coexistence and be their brother’s keeper.
His words: “All Progressives Congress (APC) felicitates with Muslim faithful in the country on the joyous occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year.
“As we gather around family and friends to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, we should be reminded of the significance of the holy festival which is to celebrate the love and grace of Almighty Allah to mankind through sacrifice, devotion and faith.
“Irrespective of our ethnic and religious affiliations, we urge Nigerians to use the opportunity of the holy celebration to rededicate themselves to selfless sacrifices for the benefit of our neighbours and indeed the progress of country”.
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