Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Ndubuisi Orji (Abuja), Oluseye Ojo (Ibadan), Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Clement Adeyi, (Osogbo), Linus Oota (Lafia), and Gyang Bere (Jos)
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Islamic faithful to be “mirror through which others see the good virtues of our faith.’’
This is even as he assured Nigerians that the Boko Haram terrorism, kidnappings and other forms of banditry “would be dealt with uncompromisingly until we see the back of these evils plaguing our country.’’
In his Eid-el-Kabir message to Muslims in the country, Buhari said that the greatest commitment to Islam is for Muslims is to put its good virtues into practice, and by making justice and righteousness the guiding principle of their everyday life.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement quoted Buhari as saying: “Islam is a religion of peace and we should avoid violent extremist ideas that give Islam a wrong name because our conduct leave more lasting positive impressions than what we say by word of mouth.’’
The president regretted that “violent extremism is the greatest challenge facing Islam today and the only way we can neutralise its evil influence is to distance ourselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach indiscriminate violence against innocent people. And this flies in the face of the teachings of Islam.’’
He advised parents to “protect their children from the deadly exposure to violent extremists who manipulate and exploit those children for their own evil agenda.
“Boko Haram became a deadly force and a major security scourge because Muslim societies were indifferent from the beginning to the activities of extremist preachers who manipulate innocent and gullible followers. Extremism is like a cancer, which must be detected and destroyed from its early stages of growth.
“Despite occasional setbacks, the Boko Haram militants have been so militarily weakened and scattered by our Armed Forces that they are no longer in a position to occupy any part of Nigeria, let alone hoist their flag and impose their reign of terror longer than 24 hours.
“As our Armed Forces get more equipped and trained, in addition to being more motivated and reinvigorated, this administration is relentlessly committed to protecting Nigerians no matter what it takes to bring a permanent end to this evil.’’
He advised Muslims to be tolerant and continue to work for peace, unity, national integration, and peaceful coexistence.
Similarly, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, felicitated with Nigerians, particularly the Muslim as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
The Senate President, in his message through his Media Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, also congratulated all Muslims who joined their brothers and sisters from across the world in participating in the rites of the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
As they mark the very important pious occasion, Lawan reminded all Muslims to remember the purpose of the celebration, which is to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet Ibrahim.
He said that the Prophet is remembered and venerated across ages for passing a great test of faith.
The Senate President urged Nigerians to be steadfast in their commitment to building the nation of their dream.
Lawan also enjoined Nigerians to always remember their shared heritage and destiny of national greatness and to be guided by the Nigerian spirit of firm confidence as they tackle contemporary challenges facing the nation.
Also, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase, charged Nigerians to pray for the country, especially in the face of daunting security challenges.
Wase, who stated this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Umar Puma, equally enjoined the Muslim Ummah to always be guided by the attributes and lessons from the life and times of Holy Prophet Mohammed, which symbolizes peace, love and tolerance.
The deputy speaker also urged the Muslim community in the country to be worthy ambassador of Islam and to continually pray for the peace and progress of the country.
Also, the former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr Orji Kalu urged Nigerians to sustain peaceful co-existence regardless of ethnic, religious and political differences.
Acknowledging the roles of spiritual and traditional leaders in promoting peace and unity in the country, Senator Kalu called on Muslim faithful to extend the merriment of the season to people of other religious belief.
He urged politicians and other stakeholders to be cautious in their utterances on national issues, adding that Nigeria’s diversity should not be used to cause disharmony among the people.
In a statement issued by his media office in commemoration of the 2019 Eid-el-Kabir, Kalu felicitated with the Muslim community on the festivity.
He said: “I join our Muslim brothers and sisters across the globe to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir. It is a special season for the Muslim Ummah to offer prayers for themselves and Nigeria at large.
“Let us use this opportunity to uphold he teachings of the Holy Quran and exemplary qualities of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) in our endeavours. This period calls for sober reflection as individuals and as a nation.
“Nigerians are one regardless of political, ethnic and religious differences and as such, we must resist any attempt to cause division. The country will be prosperous if we can embrace brotherliness, selflessness and togetherness in our daily pursuits.”
While wishing the Muslim Umrah a hitch free celebration, Kalu urged Nigerians to be steadfast and law-abiding.
In the same vain, former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has called on Nigerians to make sacrifices for the good of Nigeria and the betterment of humanity.
Atiku in his goodwill message to mark the Eid-el-Kabir celebration said that there are happenings across the globe that indicate that the world is in dire need of love and peace, adding that, “our dear fatherland, Nigeria is currently at a crossroads. Tensions strew our nation and never have we been in dire need of love for our neighbour as today. Thus, my message to the nation as we celebrate Eid al-Adha that we all have to sacrifice for the good of Nigeria.”
Former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki also called on Nigerian Muslims to devote their prayers during the Eid-el-Kabir festival to calling on Almighty Allah to end the numerous security challenges facing the country and further restore unity among the citizenry.
Saraki in a message signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, noted that the period of the Eid-el-Kabir which also coincided with the final hajj rites in the holy land provided the opportunity for Nigerian Muslims in Mecca and the ones at home to devote their supplication to Allah to the issue of full restoration of peace and unity across the country.
The Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde in his message said that no nation can advance without exhibition of qualities such as piety, obedience, sacrifice and love, by the leaders and the followers.
Makinde felicitated with Muslims and enjoined adherents of Islam to imbibe the virtues of Prophet Ibrahim, who, in obedience to God’s directive, was ready to sacrifice his only son. According to him, the Muslim Ummah in the state should reflect on the significance of the celebration, which he said bordered on “encouraging piety, sacrifice and love, noting that without these, no state or society could advance.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State also called on Muslims to strive to emulate the virtuous life of total obedience, love, justice and self-sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, which he described as the whole essence of Eid-el Kabir celebration.
The governor also urged Muslims to ensure that they make only those promises they know they can keep. In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, in Osogbo, the governor told the people of the state that the observance of such virtues would take the state to the Promised Land.
“The Eid-el-Kabir has no doubt presented another opportunity for us as Muslims and indeed all Nigerians to reflect on the state of affairs in the country and walk in the right direction to turn the fortunes of the state and the country around,” the governor said.
In Nasarawa State, Governor, Abdullahi Sule urged the people to use the Eid-eI-Kabir period to ensure peace and unity among themselves.
In a statement signed by the governor’s Director General, Communications and Press Affairs, Yakubu Lamai, the governor vowed to foster unity among the people. His word: “There is no better time than now to call on the good people of Nasarawa State to stand together for unity and peaceful coexistence. Indeed, God Almighty has blessed us with so many resources, Allah has blessed us with so much kindness and He has blessed us with an auspicious period such as this, when we can all come together to live in peace with one another.”
The Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi enjoined all Nigerians to take advantage of the celebration to supplicate for enhanced peace, security and progress of the country.
Ugwuanyi, who emphasized the significance of Eid-el-Kabir in strengthening the bond that binds the nation together, also urged Nigerians to embrace the virtues of love, charity and sacrifice as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
The governor also felicitated with President Muhammadu Buhari and other Muslim faithful, and wished them the guidance and blessings of Allah.
In Cross River State, Governor Ben Ayade called on Muslims in the state to imbibe lessons of Eid-el-Kabir by being tolerant and obedient as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim to Allah with a pledge to sacrifice his only son, Ismail to fulfill the promise made to the Almighty.
Ayade, who stated this in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary/Senior Special Assistant Media, Mr Christian Ita, urged the faithful to be peaceful and respectful to constituted authorities as they celebrate the festival. While advising Muslims to use the period in praying to Allah to enable the country come out from challenges of insecurity, he explained that prayers in congregation for peace and development of the country during the Sallah celebrations cannot be better than now.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim and work for the unity of the nation. In a statement by Gboyega Akosile, the Governor’s Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Sanwo-Olu noted that Eid al-Adha became a symbolic event in the history of mankind, given the bounty of rewards that followed the patience and perseverance of Prophet Ibrahim, who held on tenaciously to his faith in God despite being afflicted.
The governor urged Nigerians to draw lessons from the prophet’s examples by eschewing tendencies that could severe the unity and stability in the country. He said: “I join Muslim faithful across the country to share in the felicity of the Eid al-Adha, which comes with significant lessons for mankind. This symbolic Islamic festival is a constant reminder to us that, there will always be great rewards when we have abiding faith and patience in trying periods; persistence in prayers and tenacity in our belief.”
Plateau State governor and Chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum, Simon Lalong urged the Muslim Ummah to exhibit the virtues of sacrifice, peaceful coexistence and tolerance as professed by Prophet Mohammed. Lalong in a press statement signed by his Director of Press Affairs, Dr Makut Simon Macham urged Muslims to mark the festival of Eid-El-Kabir by practicing the teaching of the Holy Qur’an. “The Executive Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum, Rt. Hon. Dr. Simon Bako Lalong wants the Muslim Ummah to practice the virtues of sacrifice, peaceful coexistence, reconciliation and tolerance as professed by Prophet Mohammed (SAW).”
Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu felicitated with Muslims across the country on the successful celebration of this year’s Sallah. Governor Akeredolu in his message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye saluted the Muslim community in the state and the country at large for the peaceful practice of their religion, generally regarded as a way of peace.
He also urged the Muslims to let moderation be their watchword as they celebrate this year’s Sallah. Also, the former Governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Owelle Rochas Okorocha called on Nigerians to love and appreciate one another irrespective of their places of birth and their respective religions.
Senator Okorocha also called for prayers for leaders at all levels and noted that with prayers, the nation could overcome her challenges and also move faster on the paths of progress and development.