The Muslim faithful in Nigeria will today join their counterparts throughout the world to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir festival. The event, which is also called Sallah in Nigeria, is usually marked with prayers and merriment. Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, today’s event is one of the great feasts in the Muslim calendar. Since the feast is generally characterized by obedience, tolerance and respect for human life, we urge all Muslim faithful to imbibe these virtues at all times.
During the occasion, Muslim faithful slaughter rams in commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s resolve to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, on Mount Moriah, before Allah intervened and gave him a ram to sacrifice. The significance of Allah’s intervention should not be lost on the Muslims and other Nigerians. We should all be willing to sacrifice at all times and help others that are in need. This is the lesson of the festival which all Nigerians should learn from. The Muslim faithful should use the occasion to remember our oneness. Let all Nigerians learn to live in peace and unity. We should remember that our strength lies in our diversity.
We should love one another and emphasize those things that unite us and not the things that divide us. We should also understand and respect our differences. As the event is coming at a time the country is experiencing so many security challenges, we urge the Federal Government and the security agencies to provide adequate security for the Muslim faithful to commemorate the occasion.
We congratulate the Muslim faithful on this great festival and urge them to imbibe the lessons of the feast. Security agents must provide security for those who will travel to their states to mark the event with their loved ones. Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) must ensure that there is sanity on our major highways.
The Eid-el-Kabir celebration is also an occasion for sharing. Allah demonstrated his love for his people by providing Prophet Ibrahim the ram for sacrifice. Muslim adherents are entreated therefore to do so to other Nigerians. They should remember their neighbours, the old, the needy and less privileged in the society during this occasion and always. They should equally live in peace with their neigbhours and other Nigerians in their midst.
At this time of socio-economic challenges which appear to be threatening the peaceful and harmonious co-existence of the country, it is pertinent that our leaders should work for the good of the people. Our political leaders must bear in mind that they are in office to serve the people and not otherwise. They must be ready therefore to make the necessary sacrifices for the general wellbeing of the people. But this is hardly ever the case in our country. Almost sixty years after independence, the country is still grappling with the problem of providing the basic needs of the citizenry such as good education, health, potable water, electricity, roads and shelter. The Federal and state governments should begin without any delay the implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000 per month. The private sector employers should also do so. We urge the Muslim faithful to use the occasion to pray for peace and the unity of the country. They should pray for our political leaders so that Allah will give them the grace and power to govern the people well. We enjoin the security agencies to be on the alert and ensure that there is public peace before, during and after the celebration. All places of leisure and entertainment should be adequately secured. All public buildings, institutions and the highways should be policed and secured to ensure safety during the celebration of the festival. Therefore, we urge the Muslim faithful to do things in moderation during the celebration. We wish them happy celebration.