11 September 2016
President Muhammadu Buhari has saluted Nigerians for their steadfastness in spite of the difficult economic times confronting the country.
Buhari, in his Eid-el-Kabir message to Nigerians released in Abuja on Sunday, gave the assurance that his administration would get the economy right.
According to him, the Federal Government is “working round-the-clock’’ to address the current hardship the country is going through.
He attributed the economic recession to cumulative effects of worldwide economic downturn and failure in the past to plan and save for difficult times.
“It is impossible to separate the present from the past to appreciate the extent to which mistakes of the past are affecting everyday life today.
“I assure you that this administration is working round-the-clock to remove the hardships the country is going through.”
He said development programmes had been designed to reinvigorate the economy and enhance living standards of ordinary people.
These, according to the president, include rail and road constructions, housing sector projects, support for farmers in small and medium scale industries, youth and women empowerment programmes and support for revival of industries.
“We are getting security right. We are stopping corruption in its tracks and we will get the economy right by the grace of God.’’
Buhari enjoined Muslims to live by the dictates of Islam by maintaining good relationships with their Christian brothers and sisters.
He further charged them to maintain the spirit of the Nigerian nation as patriots.
“The lessons of the Eid are piety and sacrifice and, my dear brothers and sisters, you have exhibited these in equal measure. I wish everyone happy holidays,’’ he said.
Also, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, urged Muslim faithful to pray for peace and accelerated recovery of the nation’s economy.
The call is contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuf Olaniyonu on Sunday in Abuja.
Saraki, who felicitated with the Muslim faithful on the Eid el-Kabir celebration, also urged Nigerians to remain steadfast and committed to the cause of a united and developed country.
He said that despite the current economic challenges, the country and its people had all that was required to come out better and stronger.
He also called on Nigerians to live in harmony with one another, irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliation.
According to him, the significance of the Eid el-Kabir festival is to celebrate the true love and grace of Almighty Allah to mankind through sacrifice, devotion and faith.
“I sincerely rejoice with all Nigerians, especially the Muslim faithful on yet another Eid el-Kabir, which is both a period of sacrifice and obedience to divine guidance.
“It is a time to share our resources with our neighbours no matter how little.
“It is also a time for us to love one another, eschew all forms of violence, and adhere strictly to the noble tenets of Islam and peaceful coexistence.
“We must not relent in being our brothers’ keepers and playing our part to achieve the New Nigeria of our dreams. Truly, times are tough, but we are a tough people too.
“I have no doubt that we shall overcome our present economic setback sooner than anticipated, if we all commit to the ideals of nation building,’’ he said.
Saraki further enjoined Nigerians to contribute in strengthening the bond of unity and oneness that existed in the country.
According to him, Nigerians should eschew negative tendencies that could hinder efforts at ensuring faster economic revival and socio-political stability.
In Lagos, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode urged Muslims to imbibe the values of sacrifice and endurance as they join their counterparts worldwide to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
Ambode in his Sallah message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Habib Aruna, said that the period called for every Muslim and other Nigerians to embrace the tenets of sacrifice.
The governor said that the period also called for patience, humility and brotherly love, stressing that the significance of the season should go beyond the festivities.
“It should be a moment to reflect on why God has united everyone with a common humanity of blood, food and water as these should constitute what bind the people,’’ he said.
Ambode called on Nigerians to rededicate themselves to a greater acceptance and internalisation of the lessons of piety, faithfulness, dedication, fortitude, obedience, sacrifice and selfless service.
“These are for the benefits of mankind and as we celebrate this auspicious occasion, let us renew our faith in our nation.
“Let us implore the almighty God to restore to us those values that place high premium on human life, love of neighbour and sharing.
“These are achievable even as we ventilate our faith in the unity of our dear country and the possibility of it taking its place in the comity of nations,’’ Ambode said.
He also empathised on the prevailing economic recession currently plaguing Nigeria, saying it was only a phase that would pave way for a new dawn in the country.
According to him, the Federal Government is making steady efforts to salvage the situation.
“This period requires more patience, fortitude, tolerance, endurance, patriotism and a greater willingness to make personal sacrifices for the good of all.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari administration remains committed to lead the nation in overcoming its current economic and developmental challenges,’’ he said.
Ambode, who wished all Muslims a happy celebration, expressed appreciation for the support given to his administration.
He urged all residents to continue to embrace peaceful co-existence.
In Nasarawa State, Gov. Umaru Al-Makura also urged Nigerians to use the Eid el-Kabir celebration to preach tolerance and peaceful co-existence as exemplified by Prophet Muhammed.
A statement by his Special Assistance on Media and Publicity, Mr Ahmed Tukur, issued in Lafia on Sunday, said that Al-Makura made the call in his Sallah message.
He noted that the life and times of Prophet Muhammed symbolised piety, peace, love, tolerance and good neighbourliness and should be emulated by all Nigerians.
He maintained that Nigeria, with its huge potential, could only achieve greatness when the citizens imbibed tolerance, forgiveness, peace and unity.
Al-Makura urged the Muslim community in the country to be worthy ambassadors of the faith by intensifying their prayers, especially in the face of the many daunting challenges currently bedevilling the nation.
He congratulated all Nigerians and those who successfully performed this year’s Hajj to the Holy Land as a fulfilment of a key Islamic injunction.
He prayed God to accept their sacrifice and supplication as they continue in their spiritual journey towards the fulfilment of the pilgrimage rites in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The governor also reminded Muslim faithful of the need to share what they had with their neighbours as a mark of love in accordance with the injunctions of the prophet.
An Enugu-based Islamic cleric, Alhaji Abdul Isola, also appealed to Muslims to use the Eid-el-Kabir celebration to spread love and oneness in Nigeria.
Isola, who is the Chief Imam of Islamic Centre, Uwani in Enugu, said on Sunday that the celebration should involve sharing by Muslims to all, even to non-Muslims, to correct some negative impressions about the religion.
“The Eid-el-Kabir celebration is a feast of generosity to all around us.
“It should be used as a means of reaching out with love as we share the goodies and other largesse we have for the celebration.
“Our sharing of the slaughtered meat and other bounties of the celebration should also go to non-Muslims, some of who are already with wrong impression of Islam,’’ he said.
The cleric also appealed to traders to make reasonable gains in order to give Nigerians opportunities to buy things for the celebration.
“It is general knowledge that prices of items are high but I appeal to traders to make reasonable gains so that Nigerians, especially Muslims, would be able to cope with recent price increases,’’ he said.
Isola said the celebration is the commemoration of Allah’s (God’s) provision of a ram for Prophet Ibrahim.
“While the prophet wanted to sacrifice his son for Allah; Allah provided him (Prophet Ibrahim) with a ram instead,” he said.