AS they celebrate Eid el-Fitri, Muslims across the country, have been enjoined to use the festivity to pray, work for peace and enthrone stability in the country.

Cross section of Muslim faithful marking the end of 2012 Ramadan Eid-el-Fitr Festival, in Lagos state, on. 19/08/2012. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

Making the appeal yesterday, a host of governors, leading Muslim and Christian clerics and politicians said there was need for Muslims to join forces with other well-meaning Nigerians to address the insecurity challenges Nigeria is facing.

Among those who made the appeal were Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun).Also the Sultan of Sokoto, Sultan Saad Abubakar; Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Aliyu Mustafa; Chief Iman of Modibbo Adama Central Mosque Yola, Ustaz Abubakar Ahmadu Bobboi; Chairman of Kano State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Bishop Ransom Bello; former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Prince Bola Ajibola; and Executive Secretary of Ilesa East Local Council of Osun State,  Olanrewaju Balogun.

How to ensure peace – Wammako, Sultan, CAN

In a broadcast in Sokoto, Governor Wamakko said concerted prayers by all Nigerians backed by dialogue were needed to end the current security challenge in the country.

“What is happening in this country is a test of faith and a challenge to us all. It signifies the need for us to emphasise prayers for God to bring this to an end. Let us continue to pray sincerely to bring this challenge to an end,” he said.

Speaking in his Palace, the Sultan of Sokoto said understanding and respecting the differences existing among Nigerians would help ensure peace in the country.

“When leaders and scholars help in creating awareness in order for the people to discard differences, the nation will move forward,” Sultan Abubakar said adding, that “ignorance or the lack of positive application of the knowledge we have is the bane of progression.”

Relatedly, Kano State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Ransom Bello, in a Sallah message, tasked Muslims on co-operation with Christians to foster the unity required for nation building.

“Only a consolidated unity between the two major religions can move the nation to greater heights. This is, however, achievable if the leadership of both religions worked out a platform for dialogue on issues agitating the minds of their followers.

“I want to on behalf of Christians in the state commend our Muslim counterpart for the successful completion of the Ramadan and joyous Sallah celebration; that it ended on a sound note with no significant record of conflict bordering on religion is a healthy development,” he said.

Uduaghan, Amosun, Orji, Ajibola sue for peace

In Asaba Governor Uduaghan felicitated with Muslims and called on them to see the growing cases of violence in the country as a challenge. He appealed to them “to look beyond all artificial social, political and economic divisions including minor ethnic and religious differences in the society and abide strictly with the teachings of the Koran and Holy Prophet Mohammed.

“Dear believers in the Islamic faith”, he went on, “I enjoin you to see the growing cases of violence leading to wanton destruction of lives and properties as a challenge, which calls for greater dedication to the wishes of Allah that we should live in peace and prosper together.  I implore all Muslims and indeed all Nigerians, to ensure that peace, which is one of the cardinal principles of all religions, continues to reign and is reflected in all your dealings even after Ramadan.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Mrs Funmi Wakama, Governor Amosun said the celebration of this year’s Eid el fitir should mark a turning point for all Nigerians.

According to him, “The lessons of piety, self discipline, spiritual awareness, brotherliness, love and compassion imbibed during Ramadan, if allowed to guide our future private and public conduct, will bring within our reach and attainment the dreams of our founding fathers for a peaceful and prosperous nation.”
Also, in his Eid message, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Prince Bola Ajibola called for peaceful co-existence among Muslims and non-Muslims in the country. Ajibola also called for increased show of charity to the less privileged ones in the society.

On his part, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State called on Muslims in the country to use the period of Ed-El-Firi celebration to pray for the stability of the nation.

In a Sallah message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, the governor urged them to use the period to reflect on the nation and pray especially about the current insecurity the country was experiencing.

Mimiko, Fashola, Lamido Adamawa, others speak

In Akure, Governor Olusegun Mimiko, in a message by his campaign organization saluted Muslims and enjoined them to pray to God to heal Nigeria

He appealed to them to imbibe the lessons of Ramadan, which he noted include personal sacrifices, piety and self denial at all times rather than during the holy month of Ramadan alone.

In like manner, Fashola stressed the need for restoration of the virtues of good  neighbourliness and re-orientation to respect law and order among the citizenry.

Fashola, who spoke during a Tasfir and prayer session for the nation organised by the Lagos State Pilgrims Welfare Board in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, said the citizenry  needed a lot of re-orientation about how to be their brother’s keeper and be more sensitive to the well being of one another, which he said were currently missing.

In Yola, Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Aliyu Mustafa cautioned Muslims to adhere strictly to the teachings of Islam as the only way to solving the security challenges facing the country, especially in the northern states.

Also speaking, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a non governmental organisation urged Nigerian leaders to use the country’s resources for the benefit of the people by providing them adequate infrastructures.

In a sallah message, by its Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the organisation asked leaders, especially Muslims among them to “borrow a leaf from the lessons of Ramadan.

In particular, altruism must be the watchword of all holders of public office.”
Also, The Companion, a group of Association of Muslim Men in Business and the Professions condemned the activities of Boko Haram describing their action as “anti-Islamic. It is un-imaginable to think that they continue to kill innocent people and destroy property even in the holy month of Ramadan.”

In a sermon by an Imam in Aboru, Alimosho area of Lagos State, the clerics said “Islam teaches socio-economic justice, rather than what it is obtained today in Nigeria”.

Alhaji Babalola, who gave sermon in Aboru, in accordance to Qur’an 33:67-68, said “Allah threatens double punishment for leaders, who cheat the citizenry. Islamic liberation theology affirms the right of the poor to have their appropriate shares in the wealth of the land.”


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