From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan has charged the Muslim faithful in particular and Nigerians in general to remember the plight of the many thousands of compatriots who have been displaced by the floods, which recently devastated many communities across the nation. In his message to the Muslims as they celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir, said he has already announced a relief package of close to N18 billion and constituted a national committee to raise more funds to help victims of the floods.
He said: “In the true spirit of our major religions, which enjoin us to be generous to the needy, I urge all Nigerians who can do so, to donate to the national relief fund for the affected persons and communities.” The president congratulated all those who successfully undertook the Hajj this year, despite the unforeseen difficulties, which developed over the issue of male companions for some of Nigerian female pilgrims.
The president said: “Although the problem was eventually resolved with the positive intervention of the Federal Government. I have ordered a thorough post mortem of the incident with a view to ensuring that our Hajj airlift operations are never distrupted by such problems in future and that no Nigerian pilgrim is ever subjected to such traumatic experience in the Holy land again.” Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has charged Nigerians to restore the virtues of good neighborliness and strive to maintain law and order at all times.
Similarly, the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha has charged Nigerians to play up unity and brotherliness in their relationship with one another. The duo gave the advice in their messages signed by their media aides Mallam Imam Imam and Oke Epia to commemorate the Eid-el-Kabir. In his own message, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State admonished Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of togetherness and peaceful co-existence to enhance growth and development of the country. The governor, in his message to Muslims said it was only in an atmosphere of peace that Nigeria could achieve the desired greatness.
Sen. Ajimobi, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, condemned the spate of violence in some parts of the country, saying it was an ill-wind that would not blow anybody any good. Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda admonished Nigerians to use the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir to reflect on their past, re-assess themselves and take corrective measures where necessary.
Yuguda, who stated these in his goodwill message to the people of the state on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, noted that the celebration is all about sacrifice and total submission to Allah. He emphasised that Nigerian Muslims needed to rededicate themselves to the worship of Allah. Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has identified good governance, purposeful leadership and prudent management of resources as necessary preconditions for Nigerian leaders to curb the worrisome trend of deterioration in nearly all spheres of the nation’s life.
Aregbesola, in a goodwill message to Muslims across the country on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration stated that the nation needs sincere leaders, who are driven by the desire to redirect it from gradual slide into the abyss at this period of time. In the statement issued by his Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola identified corruption in high places and divisive tendencies among ethnic groups as diseases, which must be cured, for the country to get her development bearing right.
On his part, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed assured Kwarans that his administration would stop at nothing towards ensuring that the people get the dividends of democracy, no matter their political or religious inclinations. To this end, the governor explained, government would continue to embark on specific projects on monthly basis, with a view to reaching every community in the state. In a related development, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State enjoined all Muslims in the country to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir festival by re-affirming their obedience to the injunctions of the Almighty Allah, as contained in the Holy Quran and the Hadith.
Al-Makura also said Islam teaches peace, good neighbourliness and kindness and urged Muslims to used the occasion to continue to reflect on the virtues of love, harmony, peaceful co-existence, understanding and respect for one another at all times. Similarly, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, called on the Muslim community in Nigeria to obey all the teachings of Prophet Muhammed (SAW), noting that obedience always attract immense reward from the Almighty Allah.
He enjoined adherents of Islam to follow in the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim, who received immeasurable blessings from Allah through total obedience to His command. In a goodwill message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs. Funmi Wakama, Governor Amosun said: “The import of Eid-el-Kabir should not be lost on us as Muslims even as we count our blessings and celebrate the goodness of Allah in our lives during this season.” Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State also enjoined Muslims and other Nigerians to embrace peace as a catalyst for accelerated development.
The governor gave the charge in a Sallah message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Mr. Jacob Edi. He noted that Islam is a religion of peace and urged all adherents to be truthful in all their undertakings and to follow the example of Prophet Mohammed (SAW). Muslims in Ekiti State have been commended for their support for the Dr. Kayode Fayemi-led administration. Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, in a statement on Wednesday, conveying greetings to the Muslim faithful on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir urged them to pray for peace and development of the state.
He described Muslims as: “Important stakeholders in the desire of the administration to transform Ekiti, in consonance with the wish of its founding fathers.”