President Muhammadu Buhari has described violent extremism as the biggest challenge facing Islam.
In his Eid-el-Kabir message to Muslims, the president said that the only way to neutralise the evil influence of extremism is for Muslims to distance themselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach indiscriminate violence against innocent people.
Goodwill messages also came from Senate President Ahmad Lawan and state governors.
According to Buhari, the greatest commitment to Islam is for Muslims to put its good virtues into practice, and by making justice and righteousness the guiding principle of their everyday life.
“We should be the mirror through which others see the good virtues of our faith,” he said.
“Islam is a religion of peace and we should avoid violent extremist ideas that give Islam a wrong name because our conduct leave more lasting positive impressions than what we say by word of mouth.”
The president regretted that “violent extremism is the greatest challenge facing Islam today and the only way we can neutralise its evil influence is to distance ourselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach indiscriminate violence against innocent people. And this flies in the face of the teachings of Islam.”
President Buhari in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, advised parents to “protect their children from the deadly exposure to violent extremists who manipulate and exploit those children for their own evil agenda.”
President Buhari noted that “Boko Haram became a deadly force and a major security scourge because Muslim societies were indifferent from the beginning to the activities of extremist preachers who manipulate innocent and gullible followers.”
He said that “extremism is like a cancer, which must be detected and destroyed from its early stages of growth.”
He, however, assured Nigerians that the Boko Haram terrorism, kidnappings and other forms of banditry “would be dealt with uncompromisingly until we see the back of these evils plaguing our country.
“Despite occasional setbacks, the Boko Haram militants have been so militarily weakened and scattered by our Armed Forces that they are no longer in a position to occupy any part of Nigeria, let alone hoist their flag and impose their reign of terror longer than 24 hours.
“As our armed forces get more equipped and trained, in addition to being more motivated and reinvigorated, this administration is relentlessly committed to protecting Nigerians no matter what it takes to bring a permanent end to this evil.”
He advised Muslims to be tolerant and continue to work for peace, unity, national integration, and peaceful coexistence.
Lawan urges Nigerians to be steadfast in nation building
Senate President Ahmad Lawan urged Nigerians to be steadfast in the process of nation-building, as they join the rest of the world to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.
Lawan in his Sallah message enjoined Nigerians to always remember their shared heritage and destiny of national greatness and be guided by the Nigerian spirit of firm confidence as they tackle the contemporary challenges of nation-building He also congratulated Muslims from Nigeria who joined their brothers and sisters in participating in the rites of the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Muslims, he stressed, should remember the purpose of the celebration, which is to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet Ibrahim.
He said: “I urge all to take inspiration from the exemplary virtues demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim through his sacrifice, patience, steadfastness, generosity and obedience to Allah’s command and constituted authority.”
The Senate president is currently in the Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage.
APC to Nigerians: Shun disruptive, divisive utterances
The All Progressives Congress (APC) asked Nigerians to shun disruptive and divisive utterances and actions emanating from some unpatriotic quarters lately.
The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said that in the spirit of the Sallah celebration, Nigerians should learn to exhibit the pan Nigerian spirit anywhere they find themselves.
“As we celebrate the Sallah feast with family, friends and loved ones, Muslim faithful and indeed all Nigerians are implored to show love to neighbours and cater for the less privileged around us,” he said.
He added: “In our national life, Eid ul-Adha is a reminder for us to make our individual and collective sacrifices for the well-being, unity, peace and development of our dear country, Nigeria.
“We must therefore shun the disruptive and divisive utterances and actions emanating from some unpatriotic quarters lately.
“In our private capacity, official duties, wherever we find ourselves, we must all exhibit the pan-Nigerian spirit. We should embrace our country’s diversity and harness it for good. We must see every Nigerian as a brother. We should take advantage of his strength, help him with his weakness. That is the only way we can grow as a country.”
PDP urges Nigerians to trust in God
In its own message, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to use this year’s Eid-el Kabir to imbibe the life of total trust in the Almighty God in all spheres of life.
The party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the occasion of Eid-el Kabir “offers us great lessons on selflessness and absolute trust in God, as exemplified in the life of Prophet Ibrahim.”
All compatriots, he said, should use the occasion to particularly pray for the nation, reach out and share with the less privileged, the deprived as well as victims of escalated insecurity in various parts of our country.
Besides, the PDP charged leaders in all walks of life, including public office holders, faith-based and community leaders, captains of industry and employers of labour to “note that their positions are bestowed on them by God for service to humanity, and for which they must give account.”
The party prayed for the unity, peace, stability and development of Nigeria.
Wase, Doguwa preach peace, security
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Idris Wase and the Majority Leader Ado Doguwa called for unity among Nigerians.
Wase urged the Muslim community in the country to be worthy ambassadors of the faith and pray for the progress of the nation.
The deputy speaker also congratulated all Nigerians who successfully performed the Hajj this year in fulfilment of a key injunction of their faith and prayed God to accept their ibadat as they continue in their spiritual journey towards the fulfilment of the pilgrimage rites.
Doguwa in his own message said that it was only in a secure environment devoid of crises and strife that meaningful development and growth can be realised.
He enjoined the people not to despair in the midst of the challenges.
Expressing optimism that with the renewed vigour and the concerted efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies, the menace of kidnapping and banditry which stare the country in the face would soon be completely rooted out, Doguwa pleaded with Muslims across the federation to imbibe the teachings of Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.W.A) and use the occasion to pray for the country and renew their faith in God.
Sanwo-Olu warns against divisive tendencies
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State advised Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of sacrifice implicit in Eid el Kabir..
His words: “I join Muslim faithful across the country to share in the felicity of the Eid al-Adha, which comes with significant lessons for mankind. This symbolic Islamic festival is a constant reminder to us that, there will always be great rewards when we have abiding faith and patience in trying periods; persistence in prayers and tenacity in our belief.
“It also reminds us of the sacrifice we are expected to make not only for the purpose of spiritual fulfilment, but also for the progress of mankind and development of our society. Development and progress can only be achieved in an atmosphere in which unity, peace and mutual respect reign supreme. We must, therefore, eschew tendencies that can further divide us as a people
“As a government, we are playing our part to ensure public resources are properly channelled to the benefit of the citizens. However, the citizens must ensure these energies are not wasted by shunning actions that can make these efforts difficult. This is the sacrifice we must collectively make to ensure our efforts to build a prosperous nation are not in vain.”
Deepen your relationship with Allah, Obaseki tells Muslims
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State stressed the need for Muslims to deepen their relationship with Allah and promote a life of sacrifice and love.
He also urged all Muslims in the state and beyond to use the opportunity to pray for the progress of the country and the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians.
Obaseki said the state government had prepared the various segments of its security architecture to ensure that everyone was secured in the state before, during and after the celebration of the significant event.
“I urge all Edo residents to continue to keep faith with our commitment to build a prosperous state where everyone would realise their God-given potential, through our various socio-economic growth initiatives and the prudent allocation of the state’s resources,” he said.
Bello seeks prayers for nation’s security, peace
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has urged Muslims to use this Eid-el-Kabir season to offer special prayers for greater security, peace, unity and progress of the country.
Bello in a statement issued to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival also called on Muslim faithful to pray for the peaceful and successful conduct of the governorship election holding in the state on November 16.
“I warmly felicitate with Muslims in Kogi State as we join the ummah in Nigeria and all over the world to celebrate this year’s Eid-El-Kabir,” he said.
He also congratulated Muslims from the state who are currently in Mecca for this year’s Hajj, urging them to also remember the state in their supplications.
Bello said that his administration had done its best in the last three and half years to uplift the life of the citizens, saying that the ultimate aim was to take the state to the next level.
“The progress we have made would not have been possible without the sacrifice and commitment of our citizens, especially civil servants for their uncommon patience as we labour to sanitise and digitise our workforce and payroll.”
Reject revolution calls, Nasarawa Speaker urges
The Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, called on Nigerians to unite and reject revolutionary calls by some unpatriotic elements in the interest of peace and development.
Abdullahi in his Eid-el-Kabir also urged Nigerians to pray for the country to overcome its current challenges for development to reign.
The speaker said that revolution was not a solution to the problems confronting the country, saying what Nigerians needed now is unity, patriotism and fervent prayers to take the country to the next level of development.
He emphasised the need for religious and traditional leaders to continue to preach peace, love and unity to their followers.
Besides, Abdullahi called on Nigerians to shun all forms of sentiments, be tolerant and embrace one another for the betterment of the society.
He urged the Muslim community in the country to use the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir to strengthen their relationship with Allah and fellow human beings to build an egalitarian society.
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