6 July 2016
As Muslim faithful the world over celebrate today to mark the end the 30-day fasting period, President Muhammadu Buhari said he saw better days ahead for Nigerians.
Buhari, in his Eid-el-Fitr message, also congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and those around the world on the successful completion of the spiritual journey of fasting, prayer and almsgiving in obedience to divine command.
He expressed the hope that all true followers of Islam had been rejuvenated on the true meaning and essence of life.
The president also expressed optimism that through the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, Muslim faithful had learnt to imbibe the virtues of piety, sacrifice, love, self-denial and good conduct in their daily relationship with one another.
“As we celebrate another Eid- el-fitr, I admonish all patriotic Nigerians to uphold these lessons and to also appreciate the numerous material and human blessings God has endowed us with.
“Let us learn to show gratitude, respect and tolerance to one another, irrespective of our religion, tribe, language and political leanings as we forge ahead to build on our strengths and opportunities to make Nigeria great again.
“I sincerely pray that the Almighty Allah will reward our sacrifices with increased blessing and a more prosperous future,’’ he said.
Buhari recalled how the vice-president, the speaker of the House of Representatives and other government officials joined him to host “Iftar’’ (breaking of the day’s fast) reception at the State House with Nigerians of different backgrounds including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), artisans and Physically-challenged persons.
“As I said during the reception, I want to once again appeal to those of us who have the means, to remember the millions of Nigerians who are suffering deprivation because of violence perpetrated by terrorists.
“I am not unaware of what Nigerians are going through and I want to use this medium to commend the amazing sacrifices of Nigerians in the face of the temporary economic and social challenges.
“I want to also reassure Nigerians that my administration is working assiduously towards providing basic needs and other amenities.’’
He reaffirmed the determination of his administration not to relent in the fight against corruption, saying that “we will ensure that all appropriate and legal measures are deployed to root out this malaise’’.
He commended the Armed Forces and security agencies for the gains recorded in the fight against terrorists and the rescue of hostages in the North-East part of the country.
Buhari appealed for the support, understanding and patience of all Nigerians and the nation’s international partners in exploring the fastest means to end the economic sabotage in the Niger Delta and amicably resolve the conflicts within the region.
“I promise you all better days ahead even as we remain grateful for your unflinching support to our administration.
Happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration and May the Almighty Allah continue to bless our nation,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the United States on Tuesday warned of possible attacks on expatriates and foreign visitors in Lagos during the public holidays marking the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations.
The U.S. Mission in Nigeria, in a statement on its website, said terror groups planned to attack hotels and waterfronts visited by expatriates during the holiday.
“The US Mission in Nigeria advises that groups associated with terrorist activities might be planning attacks on hotels in Lagos frequented by international visitors, including those located on waterfronts, during the Eid-el-Fitr holidays,” the United States Consulate Nigeria said in the statement.
It stated: “the U.S. Mission in Nigeria reminds you to review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security,’’ it specifically advised foreigners in Nigeria.
The Mission issued similar security warnings last December and in May 2014, when diplomats were warned of possible attacks on two Sheraton hotels in Lagos.
Also President Recep Erdogan of Turkey on Tuesday felicitated with Muslims in Nigeria on the occasion of this year’s Eid el-Fitr.
Erdogan conveyed his goodwill message in a telephone conversation he had with President Muhammadu Buhari earlier on Tuesday, according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.
Adesina quoted Erdogan, whose country recently suffered terror attack at the Atartuk Airport, as rejoicing with Nigerians on the successful completion of this year’s Ramadan fast in spite of whatever distractions.
Buhari had, last week, in a letter written to the Turkish President, commiserated with him and the people of Turkey in the wake of the bombings at the Ataturk airport in Turkey.
The Nigerian leader had described the incident as a “horrific attack on their soil by evil forces who have nothing to do with Islam despite their warped beliefs.”
Thje military and the police have mounted tight security in Abuja and Lagos to forestall attacks by assailants.