By ANDREW ESSIEN, Abuja
Former vice president and APC Chieftain, Atiku Abubakar has called on Nigerians to demonstrate a greater spirit of tolerance and firmer commitment to peaceful coexistence, which he described as the prerequisite for unity and love in Nigeria.
In his Eid-el-Fitr message to mark the end of the Ramadan, Atiku urged Muslims to imbibe the lessons of the fast, which include: self discipline and sacrifice through abstaining from eating, drinking and sinful acts even as he also urged all Muslims to extend the lessons of the fasting period beyond the Ramadan.
Atiku said “Abstention from eating and drinking should go a long way to create empathy from the rich towards the poor, making the well to do appreciate the conditions of millions who go hungry because of poverty.
“I urge well-to-do Muslims to identify with ordinary Nigerians who go without food almost every day, and to be more concerned about what to do to improve their plight.”
Speaking on Nigeria’s current challenges, the former Vice President called on his fellow Muslims to be good ambassadors of Islam by demonstrating the spirit of tolerance, love, respect for others and firmer commitment to peaceful coexistence.
Atiku noted that Nigeria’s diversity should be translated into love, and religion should be a vehicle for cementing love and harmony amongst the people.
“The greatest tribute Muslims can pay to the Prophet Muhammad is to live by his example of a pacifist spirit and tolerance,” Atiku says. “These are the tools with which to strengthen the pillars of Nigeria’s unity. There is no religion in the world that doesn’t preach love, but practice has far greater impact on perception than precept.”