From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, has felicitated the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria as they join their counterparts worldwide to mark this year’s Eid-ul Maulud.
The governor in a press statement signed by Director of Press and Public Affairs Dr Makut Simon Macham on behalf of the 19 Governors, congratulated the Muslim Ummah.
Governor Lalong said the event, which commemorates the birth of Prophet Muhammad, brings to remembrance the teachings of the Holy Prophet who emphasised love, forgiveness, peaceful coexistence and humility among others.
He said the failure of humanity to practice love is what has given rise to selfishness, violence, intolerance, religious bigotry, ethnic hatred, corruption, high crime rate and unimaginable level of wickedness that is prevalent in various forms.
Governor Lalong said this celebration should be used as a moment for reflection and reconsideration of the fortunes of the nation which can be changed if all Muslims live their lives according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as contained in the Holy Qur’an.
He said Nigeria is in dire need of inter-religious harmony and dialogue, practical faith-based conduct as well as truthful lifestyles that unite people and enhance their ability to experience and share the love with one another irrespective of their faiths, education, economic status and ethnicity.
Governor Lalong while wishing the Muslim community a successful celebration, assured them that the Northern Governors’ Forum will continue to work hard in promoting peace, tolerance, national unity and religious harmony particularly in the present circumstances where the nation is in need of a common front to overcome, corruption, insurgency, fight poverty and accelerate development.
Meanwhile, Operation SAFE HAVEN has cautioned some Muslim youths in Plateau who plan to hold a procession to commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad.
In a press statement signed by the Military Information Officer, Major Ishaku Takwa said the intelligence available to them indicated that the procession is organised without the knowledge of Jama’atu Nasir Islam, security agencies and the Plateau state government.
He felicitated with the Muslim community on the birth of Prophet Muhammad and recognised the right of the public to such processions under different circumstances, it is however expedient to state that the fragile peace on the Plateau does not present a conducive atmosphere for any procession at the moment.
‘The Operation SAFE HAVEN, therefore, wishes to draw the attention of the youths and members of the public on the ban of any kind of protest and procession by the state government which is still in force.
‘The Operation SAFE HAVEN encourages the Muslim faithful to observe the Maulud without any form of a procession.’
The Commander, Operation SAFE HAVEN, Major General Ibrahim Ali, directed troops to ensure that no group organises any form of the procession during the period of the Maulud.
‘Operation SAFE HAVEN is working assiduously with the Plateau state government, critical stakeholders such as traditional rulers, religious leaders and law-abiding citizens to ensure peaceful co-existence. To live together, we must live in peace with one another,’ he stated.