National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, governors, minister-designate, Babatunde Fashola and other politicians have told Nigerians to overcome their divisive tendencies and unite to build a stronger nation.
Tinubu, Lagos State Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat and other leaders, including the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Mudasiru Obasa, made the call, yesterday, in their messages to Nigerians.
The politicians spoke to newsmen after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers they observed at Dodan Barracks in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Tinubu urged Nigerians to embrace peace, demonstrate love, eschew hate and be tolerant of one another.
“Let us be proud of our country, dedicate ourselves to the growth and prosperity of our country.
“Yes, if we say things are hard, it means we will work harder to make it better, not to destroy what our founding fathers have done and put together in the spirit of one nation and one destiny.”
He advised Nigerians not to forget the part of the first stanza of the old nation’s national anthem which states: “Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we must stand”.
Also speaking, Fashola described the season as the time to come together as a people and make sacrifices for the development of the country.
“This is the time to sacrifice, to get behind our leaders and to come together among ourselves to build our country and make it what we expect it to be.”
On his part, Hamzat reiterated the message of the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou Nolla, on ending the security challenges facing the country.
According to the deputy governor, without peace, no progress and development can be achieved by anybody.
Obasa on his part, called on Nigerians to make sacrifices for the nation to move forward.
In his Sallah message, Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III urged Muslim faithful across the country to use the period to offer prayers for leaders at all levels, stressing that Islam is a religion of peace and unity.
Oba Oyewumi, while charging politicians to live up to expectations, urged Nigerians to be law-abiding in their pursuits.
In his Sallah message signed by his Principal Secretary, Toyin Ajamu, the paramount ruler urged traditional and religious leaders to use their positions to preach religious tolerance among the people.
“We glorify Allah for granting us the opportunity to witness yet another Eid-el-Kabir. As we mark this significant event, I urge Nigerians to embrace peace and unity.
“Nigerians deserve good standard of living and as such it is imperative for the political class to cater for the welfare of the people.
“For the country to progress, we must shun violence and other social vices”
While wishing Muslims a happy celebration, he urged perpetrators of hate campaign to desist for the sake of national unity.
•Nigeria’s security situation scary –Abaribe
Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, urged Nigerians to put the country first in all their dealings.
The country, he said, is passing through a difficult phase occasioned by a scary security situation never seen before.
“With prayer of Nigerians and honest application of laws by her leaders this shall pass and we shall return to path of peace and sustained economic development.”
The Minority Leader urged the Muslim Ulama and all the Muslim faithful not to relent in prayers and to use the occasion for total supplication to God for peace and unity of the country.
•Minister-designate seeks more commitments
Former governor of Ekiti State and minister-designate, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, reminded Muslims that part of the obligations of every citizen is to pray for the survival of his country and seek God’s guidance for leaders.
He described the season as an opportunity for Muslims Ummah to pray for Nigeria to be at peace and attain development.
The former governor who spoke in Ado Ekiti urged Muslims to ruminate on the state of the nation at a time when the challenges of kidnappings and senseless killings were crippling the economy and derailing governance, thereby bringing disrepute to our collective integrity, both at continental and global scenes.
Adebayo appealed to Muslims to always bring to bear, the spiritual lessons of love, tolerance, generosity, dedication, sacrifice, focusness and commitment to one’s religious faith as taught by the prophets in the Holy Quran.
“The essence of Eid-el-kabir is to wholeheartedly appreciate Allah for His protection to witness another year. While doing this, our Muslim brothers must make solemn supplications on behalf of the nation, so that we can regain the respect we have lost through our actions and inactions .
“As I felicitate with you on this joyous occasion, I appeal that you do things with moderation and in line with the commandments of Almighty Allah,” he stated.
•Okowa, Masari, Ortom, Ihedioha call for prayer
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, in a Sallah message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, described Eid-el-Kabir as a season of love, peace, togetherness and sacrifice.
He urged Nigerians to embrace religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence, which he said would promote peace across the country and enhance national development.
Similarly, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase maintained that there is no alternative to peace, stressing that meaningful development could only take place in an atmosphere devoid of violence.
Ortom while maintaining that it is the duty of religious organisations to always call on God to intervene in affairs of the country and cause peace to prevail described as unfortunate, the situation where security operatives have also become victims of attacks, pointing out that the development calls for worry and deserves to be urgently addressed.
“Governor Ortom advises Muslims to be tolerant and live harmoniously with people of other faiths and to commit themselves to the Holy Prophet’s injunctions of piety, honesty and charity.
“He tasks Benue people in general to commit themselves to the sustenance of democracy as the best form of government, irrespective of its perceived shortcomings.
Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, called on Muslims to abide by the lessons of the celebration which borders on obedience and sacrifice.
“We need to obey the laws of the land which makes accommodation for all, irrespective of creed or ethnicity
“And we need to make sacrifices to accommodate one another. When we do these, the current wind of discontent and threats of disintegration shall blow away and peace and tranquility will reign,” he said in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Steve Osuji.
In a related development, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State urged Nigerians to always put the nation’s leaders in their prayers, and also hold them accountable in “a peaceful manner.”
In a message signed by the Director General (Media), Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, Masari said: “Prayers, not confrontation, are what Nigerian leaders require to help them navigate the ship of state through the turbulence of security and social challenges besetting the nation.
“Although it is within the right of citizens to request a fair deal from the government, it is however, counter productive to allow the heart rule over the head by being confrontational in the approach.”
While calling on Muslims to imbibe the virtues of respect and obedience to the command of Allah, equality, love for one another, which the annual pilgrimage seeks to teach, he stated that the last thing the country needed is disobedience to the Constitution, which prescribes legitimate methods of seeking government’s attention.
•Razak, Owoeye, Aliyu preach unity, security
Frontline politician in Lagos State, Chief Lanre Razak, has urged Muslim to imbibe the culture of piety, holiness and the fear of Allah in their conduct.
The former commissioner for Public Transportation and Balogun General of Epe, in in his Sallah message enjoined Muslims to use the occasion to offer special prayers for continued peace, unity and progress in Nigeria considering the current security challenges.
He said since this year’s Sallah is coming at a time the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) successfully conducted a general election and the nation witnessed 20 unbroken years of democracy, people should extend hands of fellowship and solidarity across all divides and imbibe the spirit of obedience to constituted authority.
Also, Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, has urged Muslims faithful in the state and across the country to use the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir to pray for peace just as the APC Senator representing Osun West Senatorial District, Adelere Oriolowo, called for religious tolerance and unity to inspire national development.
Owoeye implored Nigerians to reflect on the significance of the celebration which, he said, bordered on piety, sacrifice and love.
In his message, Governor Darius Ishaku equally urged the people to intensify prayers for peace in the state and for the safety of the Muslim Ummah in hajj to the Holy Land of Mecca and Medina.
An Islamic cleric, Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu has urged Nigerians, especially Muslims to embrace peace as well as be united with their Christian neigbours, in order to move the nation forward.
He insisted that contrary to the wrong impressions being created in the minds of some Nigerians, Islam religious preaches peaceful co-existence with other religion globally.
He made the call at the Igbudu Primary School prayer ground, Wari, during the commemoration of Eid-el-Kabir.
He noted also that there was no place in the holy Quran that encourages muslim faithful to quarrel, kill or disturb the peace of their neighbours.
The Sarki Hausa of Warri and environs, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, also appealed to Nigerians to live in peace all over the federation.
“What we are praying for is that Allah should change their mind to come back and let us be together.”