President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday urged Nigerians to take advantage of the occasion of Eid-El-Maulud, the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, to promoted peace, mutual harmony and tolerance among all themselves.
In his Sallah message, the president extended greetings to entire Nigerian citizens and Muslims at home and abroad on the occasion of Eid-El-Maulud.
A statement by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that Buhari wished everyone peace, happiness, and good health in his message delivered yesterday.
President Buhari said that the nation is making great progress under the APC federal government in dealing with issues of security, the war against corruption, the reform and restructuring of the economy and the provision of needed infrastructure.
He however said for all these to be fully successful, the country needs the support and prayers of all citizens.
Shehu said, “He (Buhari) also asked for prayers for the nation for peaceful electioneering as we embark on the journey to democratic elections in the New Year.
“President Buhari expresses his confidence that the important Islamic ceremony of Eid-el-Maulud would help to promote mutual harmony and tolerance among all Nigerians”.
On his part, Senate President Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, urged Nigerians to use the opportunity of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday celebration to show love to one another and imbibe the virtues of perseverance and restraint.
In a message to commemorate this year’s Maulud’s anniversary released by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the president of the Senate congratulated the Muslim Ummah on the birthday of the Holy Prophet, saying that the occasion should inspire Nigerians to renew their belief in the Almighty Allah and the country.
Saraki charged Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to always emulate and promote the virtues of Prophet Muhammad which include honesty, love for others and peaceful co-existence, adding that “He, Prophet Muhammad preached and lived for peace and was revered and widely followed for his honesty and perseverance”.
In the same vein, Ekweremadu’s media assistant, Uche Anichukwu, noted in a statement that the deputy Senate president called on Nigerians to close ranks and work for a nation where every man is his brother’s keeper.
He also urged Nigerians to pray for a peaceful 2019 general elections and charged politicians to play by the rules and highest democratic ethos.
Also, Speaker Dogara called on the Ummah to replicate in their lives the virtues of righteousness, honesty, charity and peaceful coexistence as exemplified by the Prophet.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker said the celebration of Maulud is an opportunity for the adherents to renew faith, rejuvenate their spirit and engender love in the society.
He noted: “The life of Prophet Muhammad and his teachings on piety, unity, charity, peaceful coexistence and good neighbourliness should serve as a lesson and guidance as we march towards building a nation of our dream.
“As we mark this year’s Eid Maulud, I wish to rejoice with our Muslim brothers and sisters and to urge that we take advantage of the occasion to renew our bond of unity and love as a people of common destiny and to continue to pray for peace, progress and stability of the nation, especially as we inch closer to 2019 general elections”.
Also, Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, felicitated with Muslim faithful on the occasion of the Eid El Maulud celebration.
In a statement signed by the state commissioner for Information and Strategy, Otunba Adedayo Adeneye, the governor said in the midst of the celebration, Muslims should also pray for the nation and the leaders.
Amosun said, “As we rejoice in celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed, let us be mindful of the need to pray for peace and unity among the citizens, which form the fulcrum for the progress of our dear country.
“It is not coincidental that this is coming in the build up to the 2019 polls, but a divine arrangement, to give us the opportunity to lift up our voices in supplication to Allah, for guidance in the choice of our leaders.
“This time calls for fervent prayers for God to intervene towards the sustenance of our cherished democracy as well as the enthronement of leaders that will truly meet the yearnings and aspirations of the generality of the people”.
For its part, the All Progressives Congress (APC) tasked Nigerians to make the right choice as regards those who will be responsible for leading them now that the lid on political campaigns has been lifted.
The party which referenced its recent victories in the bye-elections conducted last Saturday in Katsina, Bauchi and Kwara States, stressed it was another expression of support by the larger section of the population for the President Buhari-led APC administration.
In a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC said, “The occasion of Eid-el Maulud calls on Muslims and indeed all Nigerians irrespective of religious affiliations to apply the teachings of Prophet Mohammed which borders on peaceful coexistence, tolerance, justice, charity and piety as we collectively work for the peace, progress and development of our dear country, Nigeria.
“With the official flag off of political campaigns ahead of the 2019 general elections, we are at a critical juncture where we must make the right choice in who leads us at all level of governance. We must be wary of the empty promises and antics of the same people who oversaw the ruining of the country and now parade themselves as newly-converted saints with promises of a Nigerian Eldorado.
“Our hat trick victories in the bye-elections conducted last Saturday in Katsina, Bauchi and Kwara states is yet another solid expression of the continued support larger sections of Nigerians have for the Change Agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration. We must build on this momentum and support going into the general elections.
“With the launch of the APC manifesto for the 2019 election campaign tagged “Next Level”, we are now faced with a choice of returning the President Buhari administration which is rebuilding the country in all facets; has broken from our tainted past; chosen accountability over waste; probity over impunity and the people over a self-serving cartel.”
On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged Nigerians to use this year’s Eid-el Maulud celebration to pray for the nation and rekindle their sense of national unity, fear of God and love for one another as compatriots, while shunning all divisive and disruptive tendencies.
The party, in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, also urged the people to pray for a new direction and God’s guidance, particularly as the nation gears up for the 2019 general election to select new sets of leaders at various levels across the country.
The party noted: “Eid-el Maulud, the celebration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (S A W), presents to us as a nation with ample lessons in the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, truth over falsehood, peace over strife, love over hatred, piety over depravity, mutual respect over intimidation and harassment, justice over impunity and discrimination and faith over despair.
“The PDP urges Nigerians to use the opportunity of Eid-el Maulud to reach out and support the needy, the sick, and the deprived, particularly victims of escalated violence and daily bloodletting in various parts of our country in the last three and half years.
“The party also calls on Nigerians not to despair but continue to rekindle their faith in the nation, as the 2019 general election will usher in a new beginning with a new God-fearing and people-oriented leadership that is set to return our nation to the path of social stability, national cohesion and economic prosperity”.
Also, national telecommunications company, Globacom, called on Nigerians to continue to pray for peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.
In a goodwill message in Lagos to commemorate this year’s Eid-El-Maulud, Globacom called on all Nigerians to sustain hope and optimism for a greater future for the nation.
“Globacom wish to congratulate our Muslim brethren on this unique occasion and urge them to use the period to pray for the nation’s peace and prosperity,” the statement noted.
Glo called on Muslims to remember that the birth of Prophet Mohammed was marked with peace and goodwill, and urged the faithful to use the occasion to extend hands of fellowship by sharing their blessings with the needy.