It is another celebration of the Eid el-Kabir festival, which is highly regarded among Muslim faithful the world over. The feast is marked with prayers, charity, love and forgiveness as well as the slaughter of rams in commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, on Mount Moriah before Allah intervened and gave him a ram to sacrifice instead of his son.
This demonstrates the sanctity of human life and also shows that one should never sacrifice a human life. As usual, Nigerian Muslim faithful will use the occasion to recite the Holy Koran, offer prayers to Allah and offer gifts to the needy, the less privileged and friends.
While some Nigerians travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to mark the feast, which is also called Sallah in Nigeria, others perform it in the country. We wish Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy Land a successful pilgrimage. They should also pray for the country. The thanksgiving feast is also characterised by obedience, tolerance, perseverance and respect for human life. These are virtues all Muslim faithful should imbibe.
We congratulate Nigerian Muslim faithful on this momentous occasion and urge them to imbibe the lessons of the feast. Let us use the occasion to remember our oneness and the need to be our brother’s keeper.
All Nigerians should live in peace and unity. We should extol those things that unite us rather than things that divide us.
Let us use the spirit of the feast to build a strong and united country in which all Nigerians should be regarded as one. There is no doubt that our country can benefit from the lessons of the occasion if our leaders apply the spirit of the event in the governance of the country. They should use the occasion to pray for peace and unity in the country.
The festival is coming at a period Nigeria is passing through hard times. Let the Muslim believers use the occasion to also pray for our leaders and for peaceful conduct of the 2019 general election. We also use the occasion to urge our politicians to play the political game according to the rules. They should consider the interest of Nigerians in whatever they do.
While the event is marked with merriment, we enjoin the Muslim faithful to remember its significance. We call on our leaders to use the occasion to address myriad problems facing the country, including the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, kidnapping, armed robbery and herdsmen killings in some parts of the country.
Government should address the plight of unemployed Nigerians by creating jobs. It should use this period to remember those Nigerians in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and attend to their needs. This is the time to reach out to all vulnerable ones in our midst and show them love and care.
The government should overhaul the nation’s security architecture and ensure the security of all Nigerians. It is good that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has ordered massive deployment of police personnel to worship centres, recreational centres, public places and critical infrastructure to ensure a hitch-free celebration of the feast across the country.
Let all security operatives, especially the police, be on the alert and ensure that the feast is celebrated peacefully throughout the country. We wish our Muslim faithful a hitch-free Eid el-Kabir celebration.