Eid-el-Kabir, the Muslim annual festival is thick in the air. For this, President Muhammadu Buhari, Ahmed Lawan, Senate President and others greet NigerianMuslimss.
In the words of Buhari, “I won’t rest until I bring relief to Nigerians. I am quite aware of the difficulties people are facing and working to resolve them.”
In the Sallah released by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, President said, “If we are putting the teachings of our religions into practice, most of the evils afflicting our society would have been solved.
“Religion shouldn’t just be used as a mere badge of identity, but as a motivator for doing good for our country and humanity. The exploitation of the people by traders and the stealing of public funds by civil servants and other holders of public trust is a reflection of the abandonment of the teachings of our religions.
“Our society is a bundle of contradictions. People display external religiosity without fear of God; they make life difficult for others; money becomes their god; leaders abandon their oaths of office by taking money meant for the welfare of the people and diverting it to their private pockets.
Buhari gave a special mention to “the brave men and women in uniform fighting terror on many fronts and their families, as well as others, held hostage and kept away from their families by wicked and heartless terrorists.”
He called on all Muslims to reflect on the significance of the sacrifice epitomised by Eid.
“We should show love and care to our neighbours and others while celebrating this spiritually important event in our lives. To promote the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practice, Muslims should avoid association with violent extremist ideas that have wrongly given Islam a negative image or poor perception,” he noted.
Also, Lawan urged Nigerians “not to cease praying for Nigeria or waver in their belief that the purpose of Allah shall prevail for the country.”
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) also greeted all Muslims, saying, “We face stiff challenges as a nation. Most troubling is the spate of violent attacks on innocent Nigerians.
“We must take a stand against terror and injustice. These evils lie forever outside our faith. Those who perpetrate such inhumanity do so in opposition to Islam and all that it means.
“To be true Muslims is to adhere to the principles of peace, tolerance, justice, and charity. Our faith asks us to stand against those perpetrating evil and visiting untold misery on others. And we must remain forever obedient to the kind and life-affirming principles of our faith.
“Yes, there are those who seek to bring this nation and Islam into disrepute through their destructive and violent actions. They seek to pit brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour, and religion against religion. They want to break the peaceful order of society.
“But Allah has placed us here to build a better Nigeria by taking care and seeing all of its inhabitants as our brothers and sisters regardless of ethnicity, faith and region. This we shall do. And no amount of evil or terror from whatever quarter shall stop us from fulfilling what Allah has commanded us to do.”
Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State governor, urged Nigerians, especially Muslims to “imbibe the lessons of the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim and work for the unity, peace and progress of the nation.”
Not left out was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and his deputy, Ahmed Idris Wase. Gbajabiamila, in a statement, noted that the period calls for sacrifice and commitment to the course of the Almighty Allah. He called on Nigerian Muslims, especially “those participating in this year’s Hajj, to redouble their prayers for the country.”
Niger State governor and chairman of the North Central States Governor’s Forum (NCSGF), Abubakar Sani Bello, urged Muslims to renew their commitment to the pursuit of peace and progress in the country. “The society will be a better place to live in for everyone if there is relative social equilibrium”.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State congratulated the Muslim faithful, just as he wished all Nigerians love, joy, peace, and prosperity. In his Sallah message, Ugwuanyi “prayed for God’s boundless grace and favour upon all Nigerians; stating that the solemn festival of Eid-el-Kabir, anchored on love and sacrifice, comes with the peace, unity and fulfilment which the country needs to forge ahead.”
Godwin Obaseki of Edo also said, “I felicitate with our Muslim brothers and sisters on the celebration of the Eid-el-Kabir festivities. As we join our Muslim faithful to mark this auspicious celebration, I urge everyone to imbibe the lesson of sacrifice that it symbolizes.
“Beyond personal convictions, we all have a deeper and greater responsibility to God and humanity.”
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State in a statement signed by his special assistant on media and publicity, Bala Dan-Habu, said the 2022 Sallah celebration “is exciting because it is an opportunity for the people to thank God for His mercies and to pray for protection against the current unabating spate of insecurity in Nigeria.”
Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in a Sallah message signed by the head of his Media Office, Yusuph Olaniyonu, reminded Muslims of “the significance of Eid-el-Kabir which he said symbolizes obedience to Allah, genuine sacrifice to and faith in their creator as well as the desire for peace and further advise Muslims to always demonstrate these values in their daily activities.”