Prayers for peace in the country, good neighbourliness, empathy and violence-free, fair and credible election in 2019 were the central focus at every Eid prayer ground across the country, yesterday, as Muslim marks the Sallah festival.
In Yobe State, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam called on Nigerians to make more sacrifice to strengthen the unity, peaceful and cohesive existence of the nation.
He appealed to the people to learn to make sacrifice and strive towards attaining a happy society where all Nigerians would be their brothers keepers.
“We must make sacrifices in order to strengthen our collective endeavour for the attainment and sustenance of a harmonious, peaceful, disciplined, fair, just and cohesive society. We should also make sacrifices to uphold the ties that bind the Muslims, followers of other religions and indeed all fellow human beings by showing natural inclination through respect, kindness, love, generosity and faithfulness,” he said in a message signed by the Director General of Press Affairs, Abdullahi Bego.
Gaidam said the acts of sacrifice during the Muslim festival, “symbolises willingness to give up things and bounties” the faithful hold in high esteem for the sake of others.
He said the celebration of Eid el-Kabir every year by Muslims signifies total submission and obedience to Allah culminating in the sacrifice of animals which demonstrated man’s willingness to give up
most cherished things. He canvassed for such sacrifice to keep the nation together despite her heterogeneous nature.
“Make sacrifices to share the good things we have with our neighbours, the poor and the needy among us in the spirit of brotherhood.”
He assured that the government in Yobe would continue to remain focused and committed to the sustainance of development programmes which his administration started over seven years ago.
“As we are approaching the last lap of our administration, our focus shall continue to be geared towards consolidating the improved security situation in the state, completion of all ongoing projects and giving attention to the task of post-insurgency resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction through effective and efficient collaboration with our development partners and other stakeholders,” he promised.
He appealed to eligible voters to get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) before the closing date of August 31 as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This is as Governor Ayodele Fayose assured the people of Ekiti State that their sacrifices for divine support and intervention in their personal lives and national issues would not be on vain.
“It is obvious that the people have made and are making great sacrifices to go through daunting economic, political and social challenges in the country and during the celebration of this Eid el-Kabir, are also making spiritual sacrifices to Allah. I pray the sacrifices won’t be in vain.”
Fayose said divine intervention in the national affairs was compulsory given the fact that many gains recorded in the past were being eroded speedily.
He thanked the Muslim community and others for their support over the years, saying he felt honoured being elected twice to lead the state.
“Though this is my last Sallah message as a sitting governor, I am sure that our association has just begun, as I am more than willing to serve you in whatever capacity you deem fit in the future and I am hopeful that your will, expressed through the ballot or other means would always prevail,” he said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, in Ado-Ekiti.
In Taraba State, Governor Darius Ishaku called on politicians to be peace ambassadors rather than people who fan the embers of disunity.
Ishaku, in a Sallah message signed by his media aide, said if adherents of the three dominant religious sects adhered to the doctrines of their religion, peace would not remain as elusive as it is now.
“Sallah offers all of us the opportunity to reassess our position with God and retrace our steps so that we would make the necessary amendments. As politicians who are in positions to take decisions that affect other people, it is important that we take up our roles as peace ambassadors more seriously, because our every action is subjected to thorough scrutiny by our followers and could be misinterpreted with grave consequences.
“Peace remains the most critical need of the state and the nation at large, and it can only be achieved if we collectively resolve to shame those who are determined to divide us along different lines for their selfish interests. We must unite and fight the agents of destabilisation who are bent on causing the breakdown of law and order in our communities. We must break the divisive lines of religion, ethnicity, politics and others,” he said.
His deputy, Haruna Manu also called on the electorate to avoid the temptation of been used as agents of confusion during election by politicians who are bent on getting to political offices at all costs.
Manu who addressed journalists shortly after observing the Sallah prayers at the Taraba State University (TSU) Eid ground said the next one year was critical to the common existence of Nigeria and called on political office holders and aspirants to be.
According to him, “2019 is here already and in the next few weeks, campaigns would start in earnest. It is important that we become more tolerant as politicians and learn to imbibe the spirit of sportsmen so that we can accept defeat gallantly and embrace victory with humility. This is election and not war. We must realise that we have no nation except Nigeria and we must work to protect it.”
In his sermon, Dr Salisu Ishaq Jubril, Chief Imam of TSU Mosque charged Muslim faithful to celebrate Sallah by reaching out to the needy, the deprived and those suffering injustice and to work for peace and unity of the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Gov Abubakar tasks Muslims
Meanwhile, Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has reinstated the commitment of his administration to protect the lives and property of citizens and to continue to deliver democracy dividends to people of the state.
While charging Muslims to imbibe the values of peaceful coexistence and brotherly love, he said since Islam preaches peace and tolerance, every Nigerian should embrace brotherly love and harmonious coexistence.
He also enjoined Muslim faithful to pray for continued peace and tranquility and rededicate themselves to the worship of Allah by extending hands of fellowship to the less privileged.
“The significance of the season should be beyond the festivities, rather, it should be a moment to reflect on why God has united everyone with a common humanity as these should constitute what binds the people,” he said
Also felicitating with Muslims, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State urged youths to redirect their energy into useful skills that could make them self-reliance.
Tambuwal, in his Sallah message, delivered by his deputy, Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto said youths should resist attempts by politicians to use them for selfish purposes.
In Kebbi State, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu charged parents and guardian to invest in the education of their wards.
He noted that any society that did not give her younger ones the required education would remain backward.
“Education is the best asset you can give to your children. As parents, you must also seek education because any society without sound education is a backward society. I also enjoin you to always be peaceful, loyal to constituted authorities and shun idleness by embracing agriculture.”
He spoke through the Emir of Gwandu who is also the chairman of Kebbi State Council of Chief
and Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Muhammadu Iliyasu Bashar
Speaking later at the Government House, Birnin Kebbi, Bagudu vowed to mobilise the people of the state to deliver massive votes for Buhari in 2019.
“Buhari does not need to come to Kebbi on campaign, Kebbi is for Buhari,” he said.
Zamfara State acting Governor, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammad assured of government’s commitment to end banditry in the state.
“I assure all people of Zamfara State of the commitment of our administration to the maintenance
of peace and tranquillity throughout the state. These are the primary responsibilities of a government and we will not rest on our oars until normalcy returns in all the affected areas across the state”, he said.
Wakkala lamented the current insecurity which he said was a result of the attitude of the people which negated Islamic norm.
“We, the people of Zamfara, have been known for our adherence to the principles of Sharia and showcasing the virtues of Islam to the rest of the world. Today, unfortunately, among us are those who aid the bandits by providing them information, logistics and equipment to carry out their dastardly acts. We have discarded the Qu’ranic and prophetic injunctions on sanctity of human life,” he said.
Wakkala commended President Buhari for the recent deployment of combined forces of Army, Air force, Police and other security services to root out the bandits marauding some parts of the state.
The acting governor said the period of Eid el-Kabir should not just be for festivities.
“For us in Zamfara State, the period of Eid el-Kabir should not just be for festivities but sober reflection over the great message of the event. My dear people of Zamfara State, as we search for a lasting peace in the state, we should imbibe the spirit of Eid el-Kabir which comprises forgiveness, compassion, reconciliation and strengthening of the bond of brotherhood,” he said.
Wakkala also urged Pilgrims who are currently in Saudi Arabia to observe special prayers for the return of peace in the state.
Similarly, member Representing Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the House of Representatives, Edward Pwajok (SAN) urged the Muslim Ummah to use the occasion of the Eid el-Kabir to pray for the nation and credible election in 2019.
He noted that more than any other period, Nigeria deserves and needs prayers, especially as the nation transits to another election year.
While urging the Ummah not to allow the lessons of the season sink away, Pwajok, an aspirant for Plateau North Senatorial seat, called on Nigerians to continue to make sacrifice for its well-being.
Meanwhile, the coordinator for North Central Zone, Mobiliser for Buhari in 2019 and aspirant for Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency, Ayuba Pam Dangwong, also urged Muslims to pray against internal and external enemies in the country.
Dangwong in a statement prayed that the season will usher in unity and strengthen the existing cordial relationship among different faiths in the country.
“This occasion calls for celebration, especially the lessons therein. While its our prayer that the festive period will end well, we hope too that our dear country will come out of its present challenges. We hope that God will see us through in this electioneering year and the days ahead will be better,” he offered.