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Buhari, Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Atiku, Obi, govs, Wase, Olubadan, others felicitate Muslims, call for unity

As Muslim faithful across the country join others to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebration, some eminent Nigerians yesterday called on Nigeria Muslims to join efforts towards building a more united country. They also urged them to see the unity and progress of the nation as sacrosanct in the build up to growth and development of the nation. Those who spoke included President Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 election Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Others are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha; the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun. Similarly, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), announced the deployment of 52,000 officers and men, to ensure hitch-free celebrations across the country.

Recall that the Eid-el-Fitr celebration marks the end of the 30- day Ramadan fasting. Buhari, in his goodwill message to Muslims, congratulated Muslims on successfully completing the demanding spiritual obligation. While praying to Allah to reward the Muslims for their sacrifices during the fasting season, the President advised that “we shouldn’t forget the important lessons of the Ramadan which includes improving our bond with the underprivileged and poor members of society.” He said: “Abstention from food and drinks during the fasting period had made it possible for us to appreciate the situation of those who go without eating every day.” However, Lawan in his Sallah message signed by Ola Awoniyi, his Special Adviser, urged Muslims to have faith that Allah had accepted their prayers and supplications made before and during this period. He said: “We thank Allah, the most merciful, for sparing our lives to partake in the fasting and now in the feasting afterwards.”

Speaking also, Gbajabiamila congratulated the Muslim faithful for the successful completion of the 1444/2023 Ramadan, insisting that Muslims should internalise the lessons and good habits that usually come with the religious practice. In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the speaker noted that periods like this call for sober reflection and unity from all citizens irrespective of their religious beliefs. The speaker said: “Nigeria is the only country we can call ours, hence the citizens, especially Muslims at this time, must work together and pray assiduously for continuous peaceful coexistence among the people.” Corroborating earlier calls, Atiku described as unfortunate, the bitter divisions among Nigerians, which he blamed on national politics.

He said: “One of the greatest blessings of Ramadan is that it helps us to get closer to our creator, strengthen our faith, and promote charity or the spirit of giving to the weak and poor. He said: “Nigeria is so important to us that we shouldn’t abandon its fate to divisive and demagogic politicians. “We are all stakeholders in a united Nigeria. We must be part of the efforts to achieve interfaith dialogue with a view to achieving peaceful coexistence and a clime of love and religious tolerance.” On his part, Obi said: “We remain in prayers that these challenges will be overcome without adverse shock to the polity, nation and national interest. “The most egregious of these acts is the allegation of treason for speaking up and for following due process. “Efforts to dissuade us from pursuing rightful judicial recourse have included state deployment of deep fake audio, identity theft, impersonation, trolls, and fighting words, but in the true spirit of Ramadan, we have remained guided and responsible.” Equally, Mustapha urged Muslims to reflect on the lessons if Ramadan as they celebrate Eidil- Fitr today.

The SGF enjoined Nigerians to continue to pray for a successful transition programme, as everything has been put in place for a peaceful and orderly transition on May 29. He said: “The Federal Executive Council wishes the Muslim faithful a joyful Eid il-Fitr filled with blessings.” In his view, Bello tasked Nigerians with peaceful coexistence, national integration and sticking to the lessons of Ramadan which proffers solutions to some of the problems facing the country today. Bello in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, in Lokoja, said: “The end of Ramadan does not signify an end to good deeds, tolerance and peaceful coexistence amongst the human race, therefore, we must continue to imbibe the beautiful lessons learned during the holy month.” Obaseki said: “I urge you all not to lose hope in the country despite its many socio-economic challenges, but to continue to pray for our dear state and country, Nigeria, and work towards the progress and development of our state and nation.” Wase said: “As we complete this important religious obligation, I join the Nigerian Muslim community in beseeching Allah to accede to all our prayers and accept our fasting as an act of worship.” Responding, the Olubadan charged Islamic faithful in Oyo State not to go back to all their forsaken habits after Ramadan. In a statement by his Personal Assistant (Media), Oladele Ogunsola in Ibadan yesterday, Oba Balogun said: “While congratulating my brothers and sisters in Islam for the successful completion of the Ramadan, I admonish us to ensure our keeping faith with the demands of the holy month.” On security, the NSCDC in a statement by CC Olusola Odumosu, said the Commandant General (CG) of the Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi, had approved the deployment. According to the Image-maker, the CG said: “Our resolve to guarantee peace, safety and protection of lives and critical assets in synergy with other security agencies must be carried out through our collective inputs.” Meanwhile, the Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, has urged Nigerians to work together with the incoming administration of Bola Tinubu for a better Nigeria. Ojelabi made the appeal in his Eid-el-Fitr message to the citizens yesterday in Lagos. He said: “As Muslims and Nigerians, we must not relent in our collective efforts, prayers and personal relationship with God as we did in the holy season of Ramadan. “We should allow the good lessons we learnt during the period to make us work for a better Nigeria that we all desire.”

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