Metro

June 16, 2024

Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, govs, others preach unity, patience, sacrifice at Eid-el-Kabir

One year after 2023 polls: How to make future elections credible — Atiku, others

…As NAHCON prays for Nigeria on Arafat

By Nnamdi Ojiego, Haroon-Ishola Balogun, Henry Umoru, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Demola Akinyemi, John Alechenu, & Gift ChapiOdekina

As the Muslim community celebrates Eid-el-Kabir, prominent Nigerian leaders such as President Bola Tinubu, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, House of Representatives Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen, and various state governors among others, have extended their warm wishes to Muslims across the country.

This is as the Nigerian Hajj Commission, NAHCON, joined in the felicitations, offering special prayers for President Tinubu and the nation on Arafat Day.

This festive occasion, which honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, is a significant event in the Islamic calendar.

In their separate messages, the leaders emphasized the importance of emulating the values of sacrifice, obedience, and generosity that are embodied in the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, and urged Muslims to demonstrate these virtues in their daily lives, promoting unity, peace, and progress in Nigeria.

The leaders also seized the opportunity to pray for the country’s prosperity, security, and stability.
Tinubu in a statement by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, enjoined Nigerians to reflect on the essence of the occasion, which bears strong meaning and significance for the nation.

The president emphasized that sacrifice and duty are essential ingredients to nation-building, noting that it takes collective purpose, will, and action to bring about great change.

He called on citizens to spare a prayer for the nation for continuous unity, peace, progress and stability of the country.

In his goodwill message, Atiku Abubakar described the occasion as “a celebration of God’s love and mercy to mankind,” enjoined Nigerians especially those in positions of authority to imbibe the culture of compassion, love and sacrifice which are the lessons taught by Prophet Ibrahim.

Atiku said, “The message of Eid al-Adha is to remind ourselves about the commandment of God to show love to one another and uphold peaceful interpersonal relationships. The essential purpose of that message is that we must put our trust in God almighty at all times.

“Even in the face of current hard times that many Nigerians are passing through, we must never fail to put trust in God and, more importantly, extend compassion and safety to the vulnerable people around us.”

Relatedly, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the 2023 election, Mr. Peter Obi, has urged Nigerian Muslims to draw strength from the teachings of Prophet Ibrahim amid the ongoing hardship and suffering in the nation.

He said: “Amid challenges and uncertainties, let us draw strength from our faith and the teachings of the Prophet Ibrahim. His unwavering trust in Allah, his courage, and his willingness to sacrifice for the greater good are objects of inspiration to us all. As we celebrate, let us strive to be a source of hope, comfort, and support to those around us.”

Also, Senator Godswill Akpabio noted that Eid-el-Kabir signifies sacrifice and joy, advising Nigerians to make the necessary sacrifices for a better tomorrow.

He said: “Even as you celebrate this all-important feast of Eid-el-Kabir, we feel the pains of those of you who are struggling to meet up with their expected needs. We appeal to you to be patient as the good days are not far away.”

In the same vein, the Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jibrin, urged the Muslim faithful to demonstrate the true spirit of the season by reaching out to the needy.

He called on them to seek Allah’s grace for the country’s peace, unity, security and economic prosperity.

Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, said the celebration was about total submission to higher authority, sacrifice, and charity and urged Nigerians to imbibe these virtues in their daily lives.

The Speaker asked Nigerians, especially Muslims, to use this period for sober reflection and be their brother’s keeper at all times.

Likewise, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has called on the Muslim faithful and indeed, all Nigerians to pursue unity and national cohesion.

Reminding the people that sacrifice is the cornerstone of the celebrations, Kalu also encouraged them to eschew selfishness and imbibe the teachings of Prophet Mohammed whose life provided a profound example of moral excellence, compassion, and leadership that transcends religious boundaries.

On the other hand, the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has tasked Nigerians with perseverance, good neighbourliness and sacrifice in pursuit of a progressive society, even as he urged the Muslim faithful to espouse the virtues which are the hallmark of this season.

He said, “I urge everyone to reflect on the peculiar state of our nation and espouse virtues that would promote peace, unity, good neighbourliness and sacrifice.”

His counterpart in Kwara State, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in his felicitations, asked the Muslim community to reflect on the lessons of Hajj and the festivities around it, such as the virtues of patience, sacrifice, piety, faith in God, justice and fairness, support for one another, and persistent reliance on the creator in all areas of their lives.

Also, the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has called on Muslim Ummar in Nigeria to use the occasion to reflect on the teachings of Prophet Ibrahim and strive to emulate his unwavering faith, obedience and dedication to serving the greater good.

He highlighted the significance of selflessness, compassion, and the willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of faith and the betterment of humanity.

Similarly, Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State has called on Muslims to celebrate with compassion, selflessness, and a focus on strengthening community bonds.

He highlighted the importance of learning from the sacrifices made by Prophet Ibrahim and his son, Ismail, and urged Nigerians to translate “these lessons into acts of kindness and understanding that promote peace and solidarity within the state.”

Furthermore, the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged Lagosians and Nigerians, particularly the Islamic faithful, to continue on the path of spirituality and peaceful coexistence and imbibe the lessons of the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim.

Sanwo-Olu implored all Nigerians to keep their hopes alive and continue to work for the unity, peace and progress of the nation.

In like manner, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged the Muslim faithful to use the occasion to strengthen their dependence on God’s unfailing mercies.

It also enjoined all Nigerians especially the Muslim Umah, to equally use the season to reinforce unity, love, brotherly care, mutual respect and a sense of patriotism in all their dealings.

Meanwhile, as Muslims from different countries around the world assembled at the plains of Arafat, a sacred hill in Saudi Arabia for major Hajj rites yesterday, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, offered prayers for the country and administration of President Bola Tinubu.

At a special session organised by the commission, prayers were rendered by a team of scholars under the umbrella of the Ulama Committee of NAHCON, in different Nigerian languages.

They prayed against all forms of insecurity such as kidnapping, banditry and terrorism, while also praying for peace, national unity and economic development of Nigeria.