Call for total adherence to COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols

As Ekweremadu tasks FG on widespread killings

Senate President Lawan

By Henry Umoru – Abuja

As Muslim faithful celebrate the Eid- El- Kabir festival, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said on Thursday that with total submission and sacrifice, Nigeria can confidently confront the present challenges as individuals and as a nation.

Lawan has also warned that as Muslims celebrate the feast of sacrifice with worship, they should be mindful of the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic and adhere strictly to the safety protocols prescribed by the nation’s public health authorities.

Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo Agege said that though the prevailing circumstances may test the faith of many across the world, Nigerian Muslims have continued to demonstrate deep faith as the country moves towards overcoming various obstacles to its development.

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Also, the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu of PDP and former Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Francis Alimikhena of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Edo North, and Senator Olamilekan Adeola, APC, Lagos West have equally called for peace and reminded Muslims that Islam is a religion of peace.

They also urged all Nigerians to be peaceful in all their dealings and put Nigeria as a country first above personal interests.

In separate messages in Abuja to felicitate with Muslim faithful on the occasion of Eid-fitri celebrations, Lawan, Omo- Agege, Ekweremadu,  Alimikhena, and Adeola congratulated the adherents of the faith to continue to pray for development, security in the country and peaceful coexistence of her people.

In a statement he personally signed yesterday, Lawan said, “I heartily felicitate with all Nigerians and in particular the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of this year’s Eid El Kabir.

“Eid El Kabir, Islam’s feast of sacrifice, is very significant to our faith as it reminds us of the imperative of unconditional obedience to Allah, the Most Merciful.

“Through total submission to His will, we can confidently confront our challenges as individuals and as a nation, assured that Allah will intervene decisively at the most appropriate moment.

“As people of faith, therefore, let us continue to seek the face of the Almighty in our various national wars, be they against insecurity or the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we strive to make Nigeria a comfortable home for all its citizens.

“As we celebrate the feast of sacrifice with worship, I enjoin us to be mindful of the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic and adhere strictly to the safety protocols prescribed by our public health authorities.

“The National Assembly is collaborating with the Executive in responding to the pandemic as it affects our economy and general public system.

“Those of us in leadership positions must continue to be aware of our covenant of service with the Nigerian people. On our part as your elected representatives and lawmakers, we pledge to always respect your trust and serve your best interests.

“In this regard, the National Assembly in the past one year has passed many bills and resolutions and conducted many public hearings to strengthen the operations of government and enhance public service delivery.

“We shall continue on the same path and are confident of making the desired impacts, with your understanding and invaluable support.

“While wishing you all a happy festival, I again urge us to celebrate responsibly, in line with the general dictates of our faith and in the spirit of the august occasion.”

On his part, Omo- Agege in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga called for celebrations that must necessarily include cautiousness about the lingering Covid-19 pandemic, adding that there is hope for humanity to prevail over the disease as well as other challenges that continue to ravage countries across the world.

The Senator also emphasized the significance of having a strong belief in God’s words, adding that as Muslims across the world come together to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, it is an opportunity for Christians to celebrate with their compatriots.

He said, “Eid el-Kabir or Eid al-Adha is another name for the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, also called the “Sacrifice Feast” or “Bakr-Eid”; it honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his only son, Isma’il (Ishmail) as an act of submission to God’s command.

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“God intervened through His angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) and informs him that his sacrifice has already been accepted. Today, our collective faith brings us all closer to God’s intervention in the current progressive administration’s efforts to overcome various challenges and realise a better Nigeria for us all.

“I commend the police and other security agencies for making adequate preparations towards ensuring hitch-free Sallah celebrations across Nigeria.

“In view of subsisting Covid-19 guidelines, it has become even more necessary for all of us to ensure strict adherence to health and safety rules in our various religious places of worship and prayers.

“Once more, I felicitate with our dear Muslim brothers and sisters as they renew their faith in the preeminence of Almighty Allah through the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir.”

On his part, former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Uche Anichukwu urged Muslims to pray for peace, unity, and security of the nation.

Ekweremadu who also called on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to end the killings in the country, warning that Nigeria was fast becoming a killing field, said, “I felicitate with our Muslim brothers and sisters on this occasion of Eid-El-Kabir. The occasion calls for rededication to the fine principles of sacrifice, justice, and equity as exemplified by the Prophet and without which no nation can ever make any progress.

“It is also not lost on us that this is a very dire time for Nigeria, as our Muslim brethren and the nation celebrate Sallah in a state of grave apprehension, with many of them displaced by the worsening insecurity. This Sallah, therefore, serves as an opportunity to offer special prayers for the peace, unity, prosperity, and security of our country.

“I equally call on the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, to take every necessary and urgent step to arrest this parlous situation where Boko Haram and allied insurgents, bandits, criminal aliens, kidnappers, and all manners of predatory elements have field days killing civilians and even men of the armed forces alike without corresponding or greater consequences.”

Ekweremadu wished the Nigerians a happy Sallah celebration, charging them also to stay safe, observing the protocols and guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

In his message, Alimikhena, who is now the Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise, and Tariff, urged Muslims to emulate the virtuous life of total obedience, love, justice and self-sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim. He said those virtues are the entire essence of Eid- el- Kabir celebration.

He said, “I urge Nigerians to unite across ethnic, political, and religious lines to move the nation forward, for no kingdom divided against itself ever makes the desired progress.

“The Eid- el- Kabir is symbolic as it constantly reminds us of great lessons of selflessness and absolute trust in God as shown in the life of Prophet Ibrahim.”

Senator Adeola in a statement by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro enjoined all Muslim faithful in his senatorial district and Nigerians all over the nation to pray for security in Nigeria as well as the end of the global scourge of COVID-19 pandemic.

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Senator Adeola said that strict adherence to the teachings of Islam in the areas of love, brotherliness, piousness, peaceful coexistence as well as tolerance will greatly assist in promoting the security of lives and property adding that all should pray in their private homes for a sustainable solution to the coronavirus disease ravaging the world.

The senator said he will continue to represent his constituents by ensuring that they continue to enjoy benefits from the government in terms of projects addressing the challenges of the district like provision of water,  electric transformers and street light adding that he will soon embark on massive empowerment to alleviate poverty for some of his constituents in need after the COVID-19 Lockdown and its negative effects.

Adeola urged Muslims to imbibe all safety measures and precautionary protocols of COVID-19 as they celebrate the festival and afterward adding that they should shun social vices as contained in the Koran as such are not only detrimental to the individuals well- being on the long run but harm the fabric of society in various ways.

Vanguard

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