By Our Reporters
More state governors, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, yesterday rejoiced with Nigerian Muslims for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.
In Eid-el-Fitr messages, they also challenged Nigerians to imbibe religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
In his message, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, urged Muslims to pray for the unity and peace of the nation, urging Nigerians to promote religious tolerance.
Okowa felicitated with the Muslim Community on the celebration of the Eid-el-Fitri, saying that though Ramadan fast was over, it was important that the lessons of the season were sustained and replicated in their daily lives for the good of society.
While congratulating all Muslims for successfully completing this year’s Ramadan Fast, the governor said: “I will like to remind Nigerians of the importance of respecting the faiths and beliefs of all and enjoin all Muslim faithful and Nigerians, in general, to use the occasion of the celebration for sober reflection and pray for peace, unity and progress of the nation.
“As we celebrate Eid-el-Fitri, it is my hope and prayer that Ramadan’s spiritual lessons and the Holy Prophet’s teachings of piety, love, justice, fairness, equity, peaceful co-existence with others, tolerance, honesty and dedication to duty will remain with us all for the benefit and greater glory of our dear nation.
“May the lessons and blessings of the Holy Month also permeate into us all, and positively influence our attitudes towards our fellow countrymen and women, irrespective of religion or place of origin; and promote greater commitment to the peace, unity and stability of the nation. It is my hope that today brings joy to all of your homes, both here in Delta State, Nigeria and around the world.”
Similarly, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Terver Akase, acknowledged and appreciated the prayers by the Muslim community any time the state was confronted by challenges and urged them to sustain the spirit.
“He also assured the people of the state that security of lives and property would remain the priority of the present administration in his second term in office,” Ortom was quoted as saying.
While wishing all Muslims a joyful, peaceful and memorable Eid -el Fitri celebration, the Governor assured that necessary measures had been put in place to guarantee hitch-free celebration in the state.
Also, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, urged the people of the state particularly Muslims to uphold peace and sustain the lessons of the holy month of Ramadan., noting that the sacrifices made during Ramadan should draw everyone closer to the Almighty God.
The governor appealed to Muslim faithful to see beyond artificial divisions including ethnic and religious differences in the country, urging them to abide strictly by the teachings of the Holy Quran as propagated by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
He said: “Peace is essential to the development of any nation. We should continue to pray and work for the peace and unity of the nation. We should focus on the things that bind us together, and eschew the ones that are capable of dividing us.”
In the same vein, Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, called on Muslim Ummah across the country to continue with intercessory prayers for the nation after the month of Ramadan, for the country to surmount its challenges.
The governor in a message in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, said “I am aware that throughout the period of fasting, the Muslim Ummah have also been engaged in fervent prayers for the State and Nation, self-examination, religious revival, giving of alms to the poor in the society as well as focusing on the family and the community in which they live.”
Meanwhile, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, has felicitated with the Nigerian Muslims as they mark Eid-el Fitr after the Ramadan fast.
National President of PFN, Rev. Dr Felix Omobude, in a statement in Benin City yesterday, congratulated the Muslims on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast, saying: “The PFN rejoices with our Moslem brothers and sisters in Nigeria. We wish them the blessing of the almighty God, as they celebrate. However, the PFN urge the Moslems and indeed all Nigerians to always strive toward the promotion of peace, love, harmony and unity in the country for a better Nigeria.
“The PFN is fully aware that no development can take place in any place or country devoid of peace, harmony, love and unity. Therefore, the PFN expects the Moslems to practice the lessons learnt during the Ramadan fasting period which also included love, forgiveness and sacrifices”
Similarly, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, yesterday congratulated Muslim faithful for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.
TUC in a statement by its President and Secretary General, Bobboi Kiagama and Musa-Lawal Ozigi, respectively, “enjoins Nigerians to shun activities that can defile them and, also capable of throwing the country into a major crisis. One of such is hate speeches and other divisive tendencies. It is our belief that to achieve the next level of socio-economic development, we must as a country embrace peace.
”The question is ‘what is the essence of fasting if it will not bring you closer to your Maker?’ We cannot be involved in unlawful activities and expect to have a close relationship with our creator. That is a false life. It is not enough to deny ourselves food, water and other activities that gratify the body for one month only to turn around to loot our collective wealth or sponsor communities against themselves.
”Fasting should make us turn a new leaf. We cannot keep swearing by the Quran and Bible on assumption of office only to deny our fellow Nigerians the basic necessities of life. We must desist from such ungodly acts.
”This is the time to focus on our creator. This is the time to be patient and yielding. Let the Ramadan remind us that as a country we need to be upright and honest to achieve the dream of a prosperous country. We must understand that our purpose in life is to live in obedience to our creator’s will and to make other people happy. If we do these Nigeria will regain her glory.”