Eid-el-Fitri: Saraki, Dogara, govs, Tinubu, others call for religious tolerance

THE President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Monday, urged the Muslim faithful in the country to sustain the values and virtues which the holy month of Ramadan taught them in their day-to-day relationship with God and fellow men.

Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in commemoration of this year’s Eid-el-Fitri, also urged all Nigerians to remain steadfast and prayerful in the face of daunting socio-economic challenges.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, in Abuja, urged Muslims to use the period of Eid-el-Fitri to pray for Nigeria to overcome its present challenges.

Dogara also charged Muslims to allow the lessons of humility, sacrifice, love and selfless service garnered during the 30-day fast to guide their lives and activities.

Also, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff, appealed to Nigerians to love one another irrespective of religious inclination and eschew violence.

Lasun noted that it is in the atmosphere of peace, love and unity that meaningful development could be achieved.

The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, has said that the Ramadan period, apart from providing a period of self examination and deep reflection, has become a necessary tonic for both religious commitment and nationalistic revitalisation.

“Nigeria must feel the impact of the fasting and prayers in the new spirit of tolerance, good neighbourliness, patriotism, compassion and forgiveness. Unless we reflect these both in our private and public conducts the teachings and lessons of Ramadan will be of no effect.”

The immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, on Monday decried the rampant cases of violent crimes in the country just as he challenged all men of good will to rise up to the occasion to remedy the situation.

Mark, in a felicitation with Muslims and Nigerians alike through his Media Aide, Paul Mumeh, on the Sallah celebration, lamented the spate of crimes ranging from terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, vandalism and religious extremism that are fast destroying the fabrics of the society.

Nasarawa State governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, urged Muslim faithful in the country to use the spiritual lessons of Ramadan as a formidable tool to rebuild the fabric of national unity and reaffirm Nigeria’s common destiny as one indivisible entity.

The governor who made the call in his Sallah message, through a press statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Ahmed Tukur, expressed optimism that Nigeria would be the ultimate beneficiary of the spiritual lessons from the Ramadan season.

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu, on Monday, pledged to ensure peaceful co-existence and non-violence in the South-East geo-political zone.

The governors spoke in Owerri at a workshop on: “Conflict Prevention, Peaceful Co-existence, Tolerance and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the South-East.”

Represented by his Special Adviser and Director-General of the Corps, Mr Peter Ohagwa, Okorocha said herdsmen/host communities conflicts were among the greatest threats to peaceful co-existence in the state.

Ikpeazu, represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Ude Chukwu, said “We must as brothers endeavour at all times to avoid murderous competitions but explore modest ways of addressing our common agitations and necessities through a diversity of peaceful methods.”

Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, also called on Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the cause of a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria where citizens regardless of ethnic, religious, political or social status can flourish.

Governor Ambode, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Habib Aruna, said this on Monday, pointing out that it was only by embracing peace, unity and fairness that Nigerians could put the country back on the path of growth and development.

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has advocated for tolerance, perseverance, and love for one another as basis for a peaceful and prosperous society.

Governor Ahmed, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, noted that honesty, resilience and piety are critical lessons of Ramadan which are also crucial for societal growth.

Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, charged leaders and the well-to-do in the country to empathise with the poor and remember them in their policies and actions.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, the governor said, “with the hardship that Nigerians are currently going through, this is not the period to turn a deaf ear to their crying for the amelioration of their situation.”

Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, appealed to Muslims in the country to maintain the tempo of their supplications to God during the Ramadan period, stressing that  the country still remain in dire need of prayers to surmount her numerous challenges.

In his Eid-el-Fitri message issued by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Kayode Akinmade, in Akure, on Monday, Governor Mimiko called on Muslims in the nation to also sustain the lessons of  Ramadan by allowing the God-like character they lived all through the period to become a way of life for them.

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osun State chapter, has prayed that Allah would answer the prayers of Muslims in the country and particularly in the state.

In a message of hope sent to the Muslim faithful, signed by Mr Sunday Bisi, Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, the party called on all Muslims to continue to live in the spirit of Ramadan.

Also, Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  governorship candidate in the last election, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (GNI) has urged all Moslems to pray for the peace and economic revival of  Nigeria as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-fitri.

Isiaka, who congratulated the Moslem faithful for successfully ending this year’s annual fasting period said, the lessons and teachings learnt during the holy month should not be lost during the celebration.

He said, “We have learnt lessons to persevere and put others first. We have been reminded of the need to re-dedicate ourselves to a selfless service to make humanity better than we met it. Our country needs our prayers at this critical period when the economy has nosedived beyond our imagination. Besides, we must continue to pray for our dear Ogun State to survive the current economic hardship and for our leaders to have compassion on the citizens.

“The holy month of Ramadan did not only afford us a unique opportunity to examine ourselves but to submit all our endeavours to Allah for divine directions which we must continue after the Ramadan.”

Isiaka said as the Ramadan ends the onus is now on every body in Ogun State to re-examine various policies in the state and keep the government on her toes to deliver dividends of democracy to the people who are yearning for good governance.

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Mudashiru Obasa, urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness and be ambassadors of peace.

Obasa, in his Ed-el-Fitri message, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Razak, also praised the sacrifice and spiritual commitment of all Nigerians, with particular reference to Muslims throughout the fasting period.

The Chief Whip, Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Rotimi Abiru, called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the unity and greatness of the nation.

Abiru, representing Shomolu Constituency II, made this call on Monday, while speaking in a telephone chat from Saudi Arabia where he is currently performing Lesser Hajj.

The immediate past governor of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, urged Muslims to take the blessings of the period beyond the month of Ramadan.

The lessons of the month, he stated, are essential virtues required for peaceful co-existence within the society which included building self-control, self-restraint, self-evaluation and sacrifice.

Former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, urged Muslim faithful in the country to use the period to reflect on the teachings of Prophet Mohammed and imbibe the spirit of love, peace, faithfulness and forgiveness.

The former governor called on them to continue to pray for the unity, oneness as well as continued survival of the country.

Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, has emphasised the need for traditional rulers and religious leaders to sensitise the people on the benefits of peaceful co-existence irrespective of tribal, political and religious differences.

In a statement signed by his Private Secretary, Toyin Ajamu, Oba Oyewumi said, “I wish to congratulate the Muslim community on the celebration of Eid-el-Fitri, which marks the successful completion of the Ramadan.

The Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Dawud Akinola, in a statement by his secretary, Alhaji Kamoru Aderibigbe, said the holy month of fasting might have come to an end but the entire citizenry must allow the essence of the period, “which is God-consciousness,” to resonate in their daily living for the sake of the country and humanity in general.

He particularly urged Muslims to remain exemplars of the soul-cleansing month by exhibiting self-reform and abstaining from base desires for the rest of the lunar year and beyond.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State also called on Muslims in the country to intensify their prayers for sustainable peace and improved economy for better living for the citizenry.

In its Eid message contained in a statement by its Director of Publicity and Strategy, Olawale Sadare, the APC said that the holy month of Ramadan is usually treasured as it offers mankind divine visitation, forgiveness of sins and renewal of relationship with God (Allah).

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osun State chapter, has prayed that Allah would answer the prayers of Muslims in the country and particularly in the state.

In a message of hope sent to the Muslim faithful, signed by Mr Sunday Bisi, Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, the party called on all Muslims to continue to live in the spirit of the Ramadan.

The League of Veteran Journalists in Oyo State has urged Muslim faithful to continue to live in tandem with the teachings of the Holy Qu’ran, even beyond Ramadan.

This was contained in a message signed by the Publicity secretary of the League, Mr Wale Adelowo.

The message also enjoined all Nigerians to follow the tenet of the Holy month in their relationship with others.

The National Council of Muslim Youth Organizations (NACOMYO) has enjoined Nigerians to embrace peace and good neighbourliness towards societal development.

This was contained in the Eid el-Fitri message signed by the National President of NACOMYO, Alhaji Kamal’ddin Akintunde, urging adherents of Islam and Christianity to tolerate and love one another as they are partners in the Nigeria’s march to progress.

NACOMYO called for more understanding, maturity and wisdom on the part of the leadership and followership of the two faiths in dealing with matters that tend to bring rancour and disharmony.

Oyo State Director, National Orientation Agency, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, said that Nigerians must stand firmly in rejection of the voices that seek to divide us or limit our religious freedoms or civic rights.

The NOA boss further advised religious leaders to incorporate into their sermons and homilies those teachings that encourage social harmony, patriotism, orderliness among others.

Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Oyo State chapter, also urged Muslims to embrace love and unity.

In a release signed by the Chairman of the group, Alhaji Wasiu Aliu and Secretary, Alhaja Rofiat Animasahun, the group urged Nigerians to pray for the country.

FG orders improved security intelligence at airports

IN order not to be caught napping in view of the recent threat by militants and Boko Haram to bomb some strategic places in Lagos, particularly the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, the Federal Government, through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has ordered all airports to improve security intelligence ahead of Sallah celebration.

In line with this, security has been further beefed up around the Lagos airport which has led to increase in security surveillance.

Earlier last week, all the security agencies and aviation authorities including FAAN, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and airline representatives held a crucial meeting where they brainstormed on how to keep the airports in the country safe during and after the Sallah.

According to the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Yakubu Dati, among the security measures put in place at the airports to forestall any form of security breach include the installation of 3D screening machines, metal detectors and CCTV cameras.

Confirming the latest security network at the Lagos airport, the Managing Director of FAAN, Alhaji Saleh Dunoma, declared; “Security is already in place, the only thing is that once things happen you need to beef it up to a certain level above what we already have on ground. Such measures have been put in place. All the airports have been advised through a circular that they should improve security intelligence.”



IGP orders adequate security

THE Acting Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Ibrahim Idris, has ordered all zonal headquarters and police commands to ensure adequate security in their areas of responsibilities throughout the duration of the Eid-el-Fitri celebration.

The order is contained in a statement issued by the Force Spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Don Awunah, in Abuja, on Monday.

It directed that officers should be deployed evenly to cover the highways, worship and recreation centres, government installations and all vulnerable points.

It enjoined Nigerians to give useful information to the police as such information would be treated with the confidentiality it deserves.

The statement assured that the police would provide adequate security with robust and proactive patrols during and after the celebrations.

It enjoined Nigerians to be law-abiding at all times for the peace, progress and development of the country.

FRSC advises motorists to exercise caution on highways

THE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Monday advised motorists to exercise caution while driving on the highways during the Eld-el-Fitri celebration.

Mr Umaru Abdullahi, the new Ore Unit Commander of the corps in Ondo State gave this advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said there was always heavy vehicular movement during celebrations, adding that only patience and caution would engender safety of lives and property.

“Motorists should know that there is no second chance when accidents happen, so they should take necessary precautions to save lives and property.”

He also warned that motorists must adhere strictly to all traffic rules, saying that the FRSC would not tolerate flouting of the rules.

He said that his command would deploy corps marshals on the Benin-Ore expressway to caution and arrest erring motorists who flout traffic rules during the Sallah.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nasarawa State Command, has redeployed 1,000 personnel to curb insecurity during the celebration.