…Leaders urge sustenance of spiritual uprightness during Ramadan
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged religious leaders to always pray for peace and unity of Nigeria and avoid making inflammatory utterances that endanger peace or promote conflicts.
Buhari stated this in his Sallah message to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting period.
He also stressed the importance of putting the virtues of Islam into practice beyond the fasting season, saying that “religion should be the moral compass for all believers in their public and personal lives.
The President further stated that, ‘‘If people allow the teachings of their religions to influence their conducts, problems such as corruption, which diverts public funds to private pockets, would have been eliminated in the society”.
The President regretted, however, that “selfishness and greed have overcome people’s conscience so much that they don’t have moral inhibitions in the pursuit of their greed.”
Besides, he lauded the families of recipients of national honours for showing good examples to Nigerians and urged our country men and women to copy their good examples.
For his part, President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, congratulated Muslim faithful in Nigeria on the successful completion of the month-long Ramadan fast and called for sustained prayers for peace in the country.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, to commemorate the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations and made available to The Daily Times.
It quoted Saraki as saying that in spite of Federal Government’s appreciable efforts in combating the challenge of insecurity, it is imperative for Muslim faithful to utilise this period to pray fervently for peace and unity in the country.
Saraki said, “We have just ended a month long fast, thus paving way for the Eid-el-fitr celebrations. These two periods are such times that the Almighty Allah enjoined us to ask for his blessings. We should therefore seize the opportunity to pray for the country and its leaders.
The Senate President called on Nigerians to use the season to promote national integration, saying that “Eid-el-fitr is a time of love and goodwill. It gives us a message to love all and hate none.”
Similarly, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, in his Sallah message to the Muslim community in Nigeria, urged them to sustain the lessons of Ramadan and replicate same in their daily lives for a better society.
Dogara also called on the Ummah not to be carried away by only the pageantry of the Sallah celebration, but to use the occasion for sober reflection and extend gestures and hands of support to the needy in the society as well as to pray against the current security and economic situation of the country.
He emphasised the importance of peace, unity and tolerance amongst the diverse people of the country for the envisaged growth and development to take place, noting that the heterogeneity of Nigeria should be a source of strength rather than conflict.
“As you join the rest of the Ummah all over the world to celebrate this year’s Eid el-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, I urge you to replicate and demonstrate in your daily lives the lessons and virtues of sacrifice, forgiveness, piety, self denial and genuine love towards one another which you learnt during the month- long fast.”
Also, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State traditional council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has felicitated with Muslim Ummah over the successful completion of this year’s Ramadan fasting.
Alhaji Sulu-Gambari stated this in a statement signed on Thursday by the National Secretary of Shehu Alimi Foundation for Peace and Development, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona.
The Emir urged Muslims to always reflect on the numerous lessons such as tolerance, sincerity, love, charity among others learnt during the glorious month and adopt them in all their dealings with their fellow human being.
He however urged them to celebrate the Eid-Fitr sallah celebrations with decorum and absolute discipline in order to get complete reward on the just concluded spiritual exercise, stressing that this year’s feast which coincide with Jumat is a great gift of Allah.
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has also rejoiced with Nigerian Muslims over the successful completion of the Ramadan period which involved purification through fasting and seeking for blessings and forgiveness from the Almighty God, the creator of mankind.
The Nigerian Christian body in a message to Muslims expressed its determination and commitment to collaborate with the leadership of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) to promote peaceful co-existence among adherents of the nation’s two major religions and work towards ensuring unity, peace and progress of the country.
“Ramadan, being the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is very important, considering the fact that it beckoned on Muslim faithful to eschew self-seeking personal goals and work assiduously towards developing spiritual growth through demonstration of kindness, forgiveness and generosity for all, irrespective of religious differences.
The Ramadan is also a relevant period for the Muslim Ummah as it gives opportunity to the faithful to purify their souls in a bid to bring them closer to the Almighty God,” CAN stated.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Mallam Muhammad Bello, in his Sallah message, urged Muslims to use the occasion to show to one another.
His words: “As we join our counterparts all over the world to celebrate the 2018 Eid-El-Fitr, I send you very warm greetings and felicitations on behalf of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
“Let us therefore continue to respect and tolerate one another, irrespective of our religion, tribe, and political leanings, as it is only by so doing that we can truly call our city the Centre of Unity’’.
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in his Eid-el-Fitri message, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said it is only by embracing peace, unity and fairness that Nigerians can begin a rebirth, urging them to imbibe the tenets of love, tolerance, forgiveness and brotherhood which the period of the holy month exemplifies.
According to him, with brotherly love and harmonious co-existence among her citizens above all other things, Nigeria can overcome the numerous challenges confronting her.
Governor Ambode added that in the last three years, despite the seeming economic challenges, the nation has witnessed appreciable level of development expressing optimism that more can be achieved if all hands are on deck.
Continuing, Ambode said: “As we celebrate this auspicious occasion of the end of the holy month of Ramadan, therefore, let us renew our faith in our nation and implore the Almighty God to restore to us those values that place high premium on human life, love for our country, love for our neighbour and sharing even as we ventilate our faith in the unity of our dear country and the possibility of her taking her proper place in the comity of nations.”
Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has also urged Nigerians, especially Muslim faithful to take advantage of the spiritual rebirth offered by Ramadan to promote love, peace, unity and progress.
Ugwuanyi in a message felicitated with President Muhammadu Buhari and other Muslim faithful for the successful completion of Ramadan and emphasised the compelling need for all Nigerians to continue to live in peace and harmony as well as offer special prayers for the country.
The governor stressed that it is only when Nigerians live to cherish one another that “we can make rapid progress and strengthen the bond that brought us together as a prosperous nation, in keeping with the dreams and aspirations of our founding fathers.”
His Oyo State counterpart, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, prayed that Allah should accept their supplications, even beyond the holy month.
While calling for spiritual rebirth among the Islamic faithful, he enjoined them to imbibe the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed on the essence of Ramadan fasting.
Ajimobi also admonished the faithful to use the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations to pray for the unity and peaceful co-existence of the country’s ethnic groups, and shun divisive tendencies capable of drawing back the country’s wheel of progress.
Ajimobi said: “Since Ramadan fasting symbolises spiritual rejuvenation, it is expected that our Muslim brothers and sisters will continue to adhere to the teachings of Prophet Muhammed. Part of this is to be our brother’s keepers and ensure service to humanity.
“Besides, it is important for us to move closer to Allah, even after the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations and eschew things that are against His will and commandment. We should not be tempted to go back to sinful habits.”
On behalf of the Government and people of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki felicitated with the Muslim faithful on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr after completing the Ramadan fast, a major pillar of Islam.
He said: “The Holy month of Ramandan is an opportunity for our Muslim brothers and sisters to deepen their relationship with Allah, promote a life of sacrifice, charity and love for one another”.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) also felicitated with Muslim Ummah on the joyous celebration of Eid el-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
“With all the love, blessings and peace on this joyous occasion, we wish Muslims and indeed all Nigerians a happy Eid, and may all our good deeds be accepted by Almighty Allah (SWT),” the APC said.
In a message, the party said: ‘‘As we gather around our family, friends and loved ones for the festivities, we should also sustain the lessons from Ramadan by remembering and catering for the less-privileged and downtrodden around us. We should continue to be prayerful and live together in peace, tolerance and service to humanity.
‘‘As a party, we remain confident that we will deliver on our promises to the electorate through ongoing implementation of the policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration.
With your continuous prayers, support and cooperation, the ongoing task of building a new Nigeria for our progress, peace, unity and prosperity will be achieved.’’