Muslim leaders in the South East have urged its faithful in the zone to pray for peaceful coexistence and unity in Nigeria as it marks the 2020 Eid-el Maulud.
They made the call separately to celebrate the Eid-el Maulud, marking the birth of Prophet Mohammed.
The traditional ruler of the Northern community in Imo, Alhaji Saidu Baba Suleiman urged Muslim faithful across the country to embark on fasting and prayer on a holy day for God’s intervention in the affairs of the country.
Suleiman, while speaking with journalists in Owerri, urged Muslim faithful to emulate Prophet Mohammed, who devoted his life preaching for peace and love among the faithful.
He regretted that the country had recently embroiled in issues which had disrupted the nation’s relative peace and caused serious problems for the entire country.
He noted that leaders should ensure they fostered inclusivity since the country is made up of diverse tribes, ethnic groups and religions.
“The message I have passed to my people on this day is that they should isolate themselves, fast and pray as the Prophet Mohammed did on his birthday every year.
“We need to pray more seriously now and ask God especially for the restoration of peaceful coexistence and an end to all the differences that have been causing problems in our country.
“We need to seek God’s intervention to enable us to make Nigeria better for all of us again; Nigeria does not belong to one person, we are made up of different tribes and they all deserve to be carried along equally in the affairs of the country,” he said.
The Muslim leader further urged citizens of the country to shun people who were bent to incite bloodshed and enmity between tribes.
He also appealed to northerners to calm down and reduce the prices of commodities shipped to the east, adding that hiking the price of food was not the way out.
“I urge our brothers in the north to calm down also; a basket of tomatoes which used to be sold for N4000 at the most is now N38,000 because they are not happy with the east but that is not the way forward.
“If our founding fathers did what we are doing now we would not even have a country; We need to embrace peace for our own good and leave it as a legacy for our children,” he added.
He commended the state governor, Hope Uzodimma and the security chiefs in the state for the measures they took to quell the crisis following the protests across the country.
He also called on those in public office to listen to the needs of the people who chose them and ensured they catered to their needs.
Alhaji Danjuma Gambo, Leader of Hausa Community in Ebonyi urged Muslim faithful to use the Eid-el Maulud to imbibe the spirit of love, tolerance, patience and perseverance which were the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
Gambo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abakaliki that the celebration was an Islamic celebration dedicated to the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.
According to him, loving one another would guarantee peace and security in the country.
“Yes, we are celebrating Eid-el-Maulud here in Abakaliki, like every other Muslim faithful around the world. Here, we celebrate with our brothers, including our Christian brothers and sisters,” he said.
On the recent EndSARS protest, Gambo urged Nigerians, particularly Muslims and Youths to stop the violence, lawlessness, wantonness and daylight robbery as witnessed across the country.
“We know there are a lot of youths, who have graduated from school and no job. They must know that not everybody will work in a government office. There are lots of work to do, like farming, tailoring, barbing among others.
“Let us live in peace to move the country forward. Violence cannot take us anywhere but hamper progress,” he stated.
In Enugu, an Islamic cleric, Sheik Abdul Isola, advised Muslim faithful to imbibe the virtue of empathy as exemplified by Prophet Muhammad.
He noted that the prophet upheld the virtue of fear of God, love for others and following the golden rule of “doing to others what you want/like them to do to you’’.
According to him, the major problem we have in society is that most of us do not have the fear of God anymore.
“We just do how it pleases and benefits us and do not care about the other fellow.
“This prevailing negative attitude led to the EndSARS protest by Nigerians which was hijacked by hoodlums, and then these miscreants caused untold destruction and most of us are counting our losses now.
“However, if the police and other public officials serve with the fear of God in the first place, the issue of man’s inhumanity to man as well as lack of human empathy will not arise at all.
“We must return to God and beg forgiveness for our high-handedness and greed that most times leads some of us to be so hardened against other people notwithstanding their mistakes,’’ he said.
The cleric noted that “if one truly has a love for others, he would never brutalise them or treat them in an ill-manner’’.
“Rather, he will seek for ways to improve their welfare or correct their mistakes in love and empathy,’’ he said.
Isola also called on faithful to celebrate with decorum and observe the COVID-19 protocol.