From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Former President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki has congratulated Nigerian Muslims and their counterparts around the world on the commencement of this year’s Ramadan fast.
He appealed to traders not to hike prices of food items and other materials, saying: ‘This holy month should not be used in exploiting our fellow country men and women. In fact, it is a time to reduce the prices and ensure that fellow Muslims and others could afford to feed well during iftar and sahur.’
In a statement signed by the head of his media office, Yusuph Olaniyonu, he urged Nigerians to use the period to pray to Allah to return peace, unity and development to the country.
Saraki noted that Ramadan is a period in which Muslims improve on their closeness to their creator and demonstrate love to their fellow human beings, adding that Nigerians should deliberately use the period to also supplicate to Allah to help stop bloodshed, insecurity, economic crisis and disunity in the country.
‘Ramadan is always a period of peace. Even in the period of the holy prophet, wars were not fought during Ramadan. Therefore, it is a period that can be used to pray to Almighty Allah to help us stop insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and other forms of violence in our land.
‘We also need to rededicate ourselves to helping our security services with prayers, information and support so that they can make a serious headway.
‘This period of fasting is also a period that those who are privileged and blessed with resources should extend good hands of fellowship to their neighbours and others who are not so privileged. This tradition must be emphasised.
‘Let me also appeal to our traders not to hike prices of food items and other materials which our citizens consume because of Ramadan. This holy month should not be used in exploiting our fellow country men and women. In fact, it is a time to reduce the prices and ensure that fellow Muslims and others could afford to feed well during iftar and sahur.
‘During this Ramadan, those of us who are Muslims must vow that we do not just want to be religious but we want to be God-fearing and demonstrate genuine iman (faith in Allah and His words). We must rededicate ourselves to the cause of Allah and our country.
‘Once again, I congratulate my fellow Muslims for witnessing this year’s Ramadan despite the recent global challenges that confront all of us. I pray that Almighty Allah grant us the grace and good health to witness the end of the fasting period and to witness many more Ramadan, Saraki stated.