By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—SENATE President, Bukola Saraki, said yesterday that Nigeria was passing through a difficult phase of nation building, occasioned by economic recession, rising insecurity and threat to its corporate existence as a nation by actions of some citizens.
Against this backdrop, Saraki urged the 91,000 Nigerian pilgrims currently performing this year’s hajj to pray for the security, peace, unity and development of the country.
According to him, “a prayer for your country and her leaders is as important as asking Allah to grant you your personal wishes.”
Saraki also asked Nigerians to use the occasion of the significance of Arafat Day holding today to pray for the quick recovery of the nation’s economy and good health for President Muhammdau Buhari.
In a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki, who is currently in Saudi Arabia for hajj, advised Nigerian pilgrims that the gathering of worshippers from all over the world on the plains of holy Mount Arafat offered a rare opportunity for them to intensify prayers to Almighty Allah to resolve the economic and security challenges facing the country.
The statement read: “ The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day pilgrims gather at the plain of Mount Arafat, at the outskirt of Mecca, praying and supplicating to the Almighty Allah. Arafat Day was also the day Islam was perfected and approved for mankind by the Almighty Allah. The gathering is expected to consist of nearly two million faithful from across the world.
“Today our country is passing through a difficult phase of nation building occasioned by economic recession, rising insecurity and threat to our corporate existence as a nation by actions of some citizens.
“The health of our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, is also of national concern to all, and every opportunity must be utilized to pray for his continuous recuperation for him to continue to restore the lost glory of Nigeria.
“It is, therefore, not only advisable but necessary for our pilgrims to seize this rare opportunity the Arafat Day offers to offer prayers for our nation to overcome these challenges and for all development plans and policies initiated by government to start yielding fruits but that we as citizens should rededicate ourselves to the service of our country.
“Our people back home should also join in the prayers on the Arafat Day as Muslims believe that wherever you are on this special day, if you supplicate to the Almighty, he will answer the prayers.”