As Nigerian muslims join their counter-parts all over the world to celebrate the Eid-el-kabir today, President Muhammadu Buhari, former vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senate president Ahmed Lawan, governors and other eminent Nigerians have felicitated Nigerians on the celebration.
President Buhari in his message admonished Muslims in the country to avoid extremist ideas that give the religion a bad name.
The president said 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.
President Buhari in his message said: “Islam is a religion of peace and we should avoid violent extremist ideas that give Islam a wrong name because our conducts leave more lasting positive impressions than what we say by word of mouth.”
He 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.”
He 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.’’
Alhaji Atiku, is his message, said the festival is a reminder “for all of us to make sacrifices for the betterment of humanity. There are happenings across the globe that tell us that the world is in dire need of love and peace. Our dear fatherland, Nigeria is currently at a crossroads.
“Tensions strew our nation and never have we been in dire need of love for our neighbour as today. Thus, my message to the nation as we celebrate Eid el-Adha is that we all have to sacrifice for the good of Nigeria.
“Everybody cannot sacrifice everything for Nigeria, but everyone can sacrifice something for the country to move forward from the place of anger, bitterness, distrust and disunity.
“I urge all Nigerians of faith to remember that God made us all Nigerians for a purpose. If He wanted to, God could have made us into many distinct nations. But in His wisdom, He made us all into one corporate, indivisible country. We must accept that we are not wiser than our Creator. Therefore, let us perish every thought of dividing Nigeria and focus our energies on reviving our fatherland.”
Be steadfast in nation-building —Senate President
Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, in his Sallah message urged Nigerians to be steadfast in the process of nation-building.
Lawan, in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr Ola Awoniyi, in Abuja on Saturday 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 reminded all Muslims to remember the purpose of the celebration, which was to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet Ibrahim.
Imbibe the teachings of Prophet Mohammed— Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged Nigerian Muslims to rededicate themselves to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
Gbajabiamila, in his Sallah message, said that the teachings of the Holy Prophet should also be replicated by all Nigerians.
According to him, “I greet and rejoice with all our citizens of the Islamic faith and entire people of Nigeria in general as we celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
“Today, as we celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir, I urge us to allow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad to reflect in our daily relationships with our fellow men.”
Pray for end to security challenges – Saraki
Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, advised Muslim faithful to imbibe the lessons of the celebration in their relationship with one another.
Dr Saraki called on Nigerian Muslims to devote their prayers during the Eid-el-Kabir festival to calling on Allah to end the numerous security challenges facing the country and further restore unity among the citizenry.
Saraki, in a message signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, noted that the period of the Eid-el-Kabir which also coincided with the final hajj rites in the holy land provided the opportunity for Nigerian Muslims in Mecca and the ones at home to devote their supplication to Allah to the issue of full restoration of peace and unity across the country.
Imbibe virtues of Prophet Mohammed —Makinde
Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, has urged Muslims to imbibe the virtues of Prophet Ibrahim, who, in obedience to God’s directive, was ready to sacrifice his only son.
He further admonished them to reflect on the significance of the celebration, which he said bordered on encouraging piety, sacrifice and love, noting that without these, no state or society could advance.
“The significance of the season should be beyond the festivities. The real essence is to encourage piety, total commitment to Allah, self-discipline and sacrifice,” the governor said in his message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa.
The governor, however, enjoined the Muslim faithful to use the celebration period to pray for the peace, prosperity and stability of the state and the country, adding that for the state to prosper and reach its full potential, its people must contribute their quota through prayers and support for the leaders.
The governor further reiterated his administration’s commitment to uplifting the state through the expansion of its economy and ensuring that the state reclaims its pace setter status in different sectors.
Emulate Prophet Mohammed —Dapo Abiodun
Ogun State governor has enjoined Muslims in the state to take note of the lessons of the Eid-el-Kabir festival and emulate Prophet Ibrahim’s patience, perseverance, steadfastness, obedience and commitment as vital ingredients towards the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda.
“Let me enjoin you all to celebrate with moderation. We must all remember that even this celebration is an act of worship to Allah. And, I pray that God accepts all our worship as Ibaadah. May He also grant us good rewards in this life and hereafter. I wish all our Muslims faithful a happy Eid-el-Kabir celebration. I pray that we will celebrate many more in good health and prosperity,” he said.
Shun divisive tendencies — Lagos Governor
Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim and work for the unity of the nation.
In a statement by Gboyega Akosile, his Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Sanwo-Olu noted that Eid al-Adha became a symbolic event in the history of mankind, given the bounty of rewards that followed the patience and perseverance of Prophet Ibrahim, who held on to his faith in God despite being afflicted.
The governor urged Nigerians to draw lessons from the prophet’s examples by eschewing tendencies that could sever the unity and stability in the country.
“I join Muslim faithful across the country to share in the felicity of the Eid al-Adha, which comes with significant lessons for mankind,” he said.
Live in peace — Akeredolu
Ondo state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, in his message appealed to Muslims and Nigerians to continue to live in peace to usher unprecedented development to the state and country.
Akeredolu saluted the Muslim community for the peaceful practice of their religion, generally regarded as a way of peace. He reminded Muslims faithful to let moderation be their watchword as they celebrate this year’s sallah.
He also urged them to remember the needy by extending the hands of love towards them. He further called on all Muslim faithful to continue to pray for the country, particularly as the nation continues to battle the issues of insecurity.
Emulate Prophet Ibrahim —Oyetola
Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State has called on Muslims to strive to emulate the life of total obedience, love, justice, and self-sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, which he described as the whole essence of the celebration.
He also implored Muslims to ensure that they make only those promises they know they can keep.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ismail Omipidan, Oyetola stated that the observance of such virtues would take the state to the Promised Land.
“The Eid-el Kabir has no doubt presented another opportunity for us as Muslims and indeed all Nigerians to reflect on the state of affairs in the country and walk in the right direction to turn the fortunes of the state and the country around,” he said.
Reflect on lessons of festival —Kwara gov
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State in his message called on Muslim faithful to spend the holiday reflecting on the lessons of the season.
In a Sallah message signed by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor said that, “The message of this season is that of sacrifice, selflessness, and total submission to the will of God as exemplified by not just Prophet Ibrahim, the father of all Abrahamaic faiths, but also Prophet Muhammad. As faithful, it is not enough to offer animals in sacrifice. We are in fact required to translate these qualities to our day-to-day living.
“We therefore call on all Kwarans to stay the course with us as we get down to the task of fixing our state.”
Also, The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has advised the people of the state to celebrate Sallah in a modest way without violating law and order.
The emir in a statement enjoined Muslim faithful to converge on the Ilorin Central Yidi Praying Ground for the two rakats prayer scheduled to commence at 8 o’clock this morning.
Uphold spitrit of love —Fayemi
Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in a goodwill message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode, urged the Muslim Ummah to uphold the lessons of love, loyalty and sacrifice which form the foundation of the Eid-el- Kabir celebration, during and after the festivities.
Dr Fayemi also urged them to see the Eid-el-Kabir festival as an opportunity for sober reflection and spiritual renewal which Allah demands from the faithful.
While congratulating the Muslim faithful on witnessing another celebration, Governor Fayemi urged them to collaborate with adherents of other religions in the country in the quest for peace and progress.
Governor Bello felicitates Muslims
The governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in his Sallah message said, “Hajj is a cardinal tenet of the Islamic faith as enjoined by Prophet Mohammed and we recognise the duty of every Muslim who can perform it. This is why we continue to do what we can to facilitate the trip to the Holy Land for our people, especially those who cannot otherwise afford it without some help.”
Be tolerant, Niger acting governor urges Muslims
Acting governor of Niger State, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, has sued for tolerance, peace and unity among the citizens irrespective of tribal, religious and political affiliations.
Alhaji Ketso, in his Sallah message, issued on Saturday in Minna, the state capital, enjoined Muslims and non-Muslims alike to practice their religions in line with the teachings of love, unity, peace, sharing, sacrifice and tolerance to all.
Obaseki calls for life of sacrifice
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has urged Muslim faithful to deepen their relationship with Allah and promote a life of sacrifice and love.
He said in a statement issued by Mr Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy that Muslims should use the festive period to pray for the progress of the country and the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians.
“We urge all Muslims in our state and beyond to also use this opportunity to pray for the progress of our country and the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians,” he said.
Pray for peace, security —Enugu gov
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has enjoined all Nigerians to take advantage of the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir to supplicate for enhanced peace, security and progress of the country.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who emphasized the significance of Eid-el-Kabir in strengthening the bond that binds the nation together said: “The ultimate goal remains our collective ability to live in peace and harmony in a secure environment, to cherish one another irrespective of religious, ethnic and political differences, for sustainable development of the nation.”
Akinola, MURIC, MMWG, YOUMBAS preach peace, sacrifice
Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Dawud Akinola, has admonished the faithful to be willing and ready to make sacrifices in order to keep their feet firm on the straight path and earn the pleasure of Allah.
Alhaji Akinola’s admonition was contained in a statement issued from Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
He said, “Allah is using the symbolism of the Eid al-Adha festival to hint at the qualities He demands from His creations, especially faithful human beings, some of which are sacrifice, purity of heart and faith and obedience of His commands without ceasing.”
In the same vein, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a message signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, urged Nigerians to work and pray for peace and stability.
The organisation felicitated the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and the generality of Nigerians on having the grace of witnessing this year’s Eid-el-Kabiir.
MURIC urged Nigerians to change their mindset from negativity to positivity and to adopt the principle of work and pray to overcome the challenges facing the country.
Also, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) called on Muslims to imbibe the lessons of the festival such as fulfillment of promise to God and fellow human beings, submission to the will of God as demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim, his wife and his son, Ismael, as well as obedience to parents by young ones.
In a statement by its national coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the MMWG urged sacrifice on the part of those in authority so that they could provide purposeful and responsible leadership.
In its own message, the Young Muslim Brothers and Sisters of Nigeria (YOUMBAS) felicitated Muslims all over the country and advised the faithful to emulate the deeds of Prophet Ibrahim, around whom the festival revolves.
The national president of the organisation, Alhaji Abdul-Fatah Oloyede, in a statement said: “The joy of the celebration is the promise of Allah to His Prophet (Ibrahim) that the blessings of Allah shall be abundant on all Muslims on earth.”
Zamfara gov grants amnesty to 150 prisoners
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara in the spirit of Sallah granted amnesty to 150 inmates of the Gusau Maximum Security Prisons, a statement by Yusuf Idris, his Director-General, Press Affairs, said on Saturday in Gusau.
The statement said that those freed included five persons serving life terms. It added that five condemned prisoners, 30 convicts, 60 awaiting trial inmates and nine nursing mothers were among those freed.
Others included 41 persons who were freed because they could memorise the Holy Qur’an; those living with some form of disability, the aged and those who had spent more than 20 years without trial.
The statement quoted Matawalle as advising the freed persons to consider their renewed freedom as an act of God and also see their time in prison as an opportunity to make them better persons.
It said that the governor also donated five cows, 100 bags of rice, five rams, some drugs and other food ingredients to the remaining inmates to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), quotes the Zamfara Chief Judge, Justice Mukhtar Yushau, as saying at the occasion that granting amnesty to the inmates was a prerogative power vested on the governor which he exercised.
It further quoted Yushau as advising the released inmates to denounce their sins and become better persons.
Sunmonu urges Muslims to eschew peace
Former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, in her Sallah message urged Muslim faithful to live in peace and harmony for the progress of the country.
Senator Sunmonu said there was the need for every tribe and ethnic groups in the country to see themselves as one being bonded together by a particular factor, thereby preventing the social menace ravaging the country at present.
She however called on Muslims to imbibe the spirit of obedience and total submission to the will of Allah as shown by Prophet Ibrahim whose experience brings about the Eid-el-kabir celebrations.