By Our Reporters
As Muslims in the country join the global Islamic community to begin this year’s Ramadan fasting, President Goodluck Jonathan has urged them to promote peace and unity, offer special prayers for stability and progress of the nation.
Noting that the Ramadan fast teaches Muslims to practice piety, self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, tolerance, justice, fairness and empathy for the less fortunate in society, the President called on all Nigerian adherents of the Islamic faith to reflect on these edifying lessons as they fast and make them a greater part of their daily lives to promote peaceful co-existence and greater unity amongst the diverse groups in Nigeria.
Against the background of recent security challenges in parts of the country, President Jonathan assures the Islamic faithful in the affected areas that every possible effort will be made to ensure that they observe the Ramadan rites of spiritual reflection, supplication, good deeds, charity and worship without hindrance.
In the same vein, the Senate President, David Mark pleaded with Muslims across the country to pray for the country, in the spirit of Ramadan fast over the present security challenges. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, the Senate President felicitated with Muslim faithful across the country at Ramadan.
Senator Mark who also called for peaceful coexistence between and among religious or ethnic leanings, said, “our diversity should be seen as our strength.
”We have more to gain by living together. All hands must be on deck to move the nation forward.
”The challenges we are facing presently are temporary, it is not in our culture or tradition. I believe that through our consistent prayers to God, Nigeria will overcome. So, I implore our Muslim brethren to use the Ramadan period to appease the Almighty God and ask for grace over our land.”
He however charged Muslim faithful to diligently follow the tenets of Ramadan which are sharing, love, passion and prayers for the betterment of the nation.
Among those who also enjoined Muslims to use the period to pray for the country are Governors Kashim Shettima, Capt. Idris Wada, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Borno, Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Osun states respectively.
The governors in separate messages to the fasting Muslims urged them to use the period to pray for the sustenance of democracy, peace and unity in the country.
Gov Wada who spoke through his deputy, Arch. Yomi Awoniyi congratulated Muslims in the state for witnessing another Holy month of Ramadan. He urged Muslims to embrace the fasting period with utmost dedication, abstinence and supplication to the will of Allah.