As the world celebrates Muslim Eid-El-Fitr festival, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and some other leaders have been sending goodwill messages, using the opportunity to seek prayers against the mirage of security challenges facing the country.
The major issues include terrorism, being carried out against the country by Boko Haram and other extremist groups, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities.
Buhari, in a message he personally signed to celebrate Eid-el Fitr, urged Nigerians to shun the temptation to retreat into their communities.
Also, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawa and a former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, also tasked Nigerians on the need for righteousness and prayers for the nation to overcome its problems.
Buhari implored the citizenry to pray against kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of Nigeria as a united entity.
“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion,” he said.
The President sent his best wishes to all Nigerians and Muslims across the globe as they mark the Eid Al Fitr.
He said- “Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges, which are surmountable only when we come together as one.
“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.”
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan felicitated with the Muslim clerics in Nigeria on the completion of this year’s Ramadan fast, saying: “Every true Muslim feels joy at participating in the Ramadan fast, which is a key obligation in Islam. May Almighty Allah, therefore, reward us for the spiritual voyage and grant our earnest wishes for ourselves, families and dear country.”
According to him, due to the current security and economic challenges, Nigeria needs the prayers of every patriot now more than ever before to achieve peace, unity, and progress were the dreams of the founding fathers.
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar in a statement said this year’s Eid-al-Fitr come at a time when Nigeria was going through challenging moments concerning the security of lives and property and when a large number of people were hard hit by the ravaging scourge of poverty.
“As Muslims, we need to remind ourselves of our obligation to ensuring peace and unity within our family and in our neighbourhood at all times.
“Today, across Nigeria, there is a scary and growing tendency to mistrust along ethnic and religious lines. As Muslims, we know from both the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of Noble Prophet Muhammed (SAW) that no tribe or race is superior to another, except the one that seeks piety to the Almighty Allah,” Atiku said.
Former senate president Saraki on his part, said, through a statement signed by the Head of his media office, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, that the current situation in Nigeria requires a sincere change of mindset by all citizens.
“We should use this post-Ramadan period and the lessons we learnt from the fasting period to steer clear of any action which does not bode well for our country. This is a period when we all need to pray to Allah to once again pull the country back from the precipice.
“With the level of insecurity and economic crisis which have combined to worsen the rate of poverty in Nigeria, all Nigerians must unite and demonstrate patriotism that will help our country overcome the present challenges.
“Once again, I commend our security agencies at the frontline and pray that Almighty God will protect and give them victory over the insurgents and other non-state actors inflicting violence on our country. May Allah heal our land of any form of affliction,” he stated.