EID-EL-FITR: JONATHAN ASSURES ON SECURITY
President Goodluck Jonathan assured Nigerians on adequate security as the Muslim faithful mark the end of Ramadan fasting. Also, leaders across the country enjoined Muslims faithful to ensure national unity and peaceful co-existence with people of other faith.
In a statement, signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr.Reuben Abati, the President congratulated all Nigerians of the Islamic faith, who have successfully completed the month-long Ramadan fast.
Speaking against the background of last Friday's terrorist attack on the United Nation's Building in Abuja and other recent events which may have caused Nigerians to be apprehensive about the security of their lives and property, President Jonathan reassured all citizens and foreigners resident in the country that his administration is taking every necessary action to enhance national security.
While reassuring that he will not be distracted by the insecurity situation in the country to deliver on his transformation agenda, the President has also directed the security services to rapidly evolve and implement additional security, intelligence-gathering and counter-terrorism measures, including greater cooperation with other nations engaged in the global war against terrorism, to thwart the evil machinations of terrorists and other promoters of mindless violence in the country.
In the same vein, Vice President Namadi Sambo called on all Nigerians to be security conscious and report any suspicious movement by 'agents of destabilization in our midst to the security agencies, in order to ensure peaceful and joyous celebration'. He also called for the highest degree of care on roads so as to avoid accidents that may deprive us of our loved ones.
President Jonathan in his Sallah message joined the Moslem faithful in the pious hope and expectation that God Almighty will grant the prayers of Nigerians during Ramadan for the continued peace, well-being and progress of the nation.
'The President also wishes to assure Nigerians that he will not be distracted from the full implementation of his agenda for national transformation by the actions of terrorists and retrogressive elements in the country. With his new national economic management team now fully established and functional, Nigerians can look forward to visible progress in the fulfillment of the President's promise of socio-economic revitalization, job creation and the renewal of national infrastructure in the coming months.
'While President Jonathan will continue to give the nation required leadership and direction for greater unity, stability and progress, he wishes to stress, however, that all Nigerians have a role to play in the urgent task of nation-building.
'As they celebrate Eid-el-fitr and the end of Ramadan, the President urges Nigerians, therefore, to rededicate themselves to supporting government in every possible way to ensure that the country continues to make steady progress towards the fulfillment of its vast, God-given potentials. He wishes Nigerians happy Eid celebrations and prays that God Almighty will continue to bless, guide and protect the country,' the statement read in parts.
In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Umar Sani, the Vice-President said the 29 days of fast was in fulfillment of Allah's injunction in the holy month of Ramadan.
'We have fasted and prayed fervently for peace, prosperity and progress for ourselves and our dear nation and the acceptance of our supplication by Allah, we have explored various means, to ensure that we witnessed the night of power, so that Allah will forgive us our sins and trespasses and bestow on us the very many bounties He alone commands.
'As we have finally come to the end of this year's spiritual obligation, may our Ibadat be accepted in the sight of Allah and all that we seek for from Him.
'Let me use this opportunity to congratulate the Muslim Ummah for the successful completion of this religious duty. May we live long to witness another round of this holy month.
'I enjoin all Muslim Ummah to be steadfast and prayerful so that our country shall enjoy relative peace and stability and together we shall build a developed and egalitarian society and a transformed nation of our collective dreams'.
Senate President David Mark also congratulated Islamic faithful on the Eid day, urging them to continue to live exemplary life of the Holy Prophet Mohammed so as to take the nation out of the woods
In his Sallah message, Mark charged all Muslims to abide by the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan and shun indiscipline and hatred.
The Senate President stressed that as faithful, imbibing the teachings and exhortations of Almighty Allah is the panacea to all human challenges.
'Prophet Mohammed lived an exemplary life; he laid the foundation for peaceful co-existence and taught his followers the reward and benefit of mutual relationship'.
He called on Muslims and Nigerians of other faiths to spend this period reflecting on 'how we can jointly put an end to the activities of some nefarious people among us'.
'As a nation, this is one of our trying times; a time for sober reflection, a time to celebrate and reflect on how to foster national unity. As Nigerians, we should all be encouraged to reflect on our nation's challenges and pray to Allah for his divine intervention.
'Nigeria would be greater if all hands are on deck in the onerous task of transforming our great country,' Mark advised.
His deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, also congratulated the Muslim Ummah on the celebration of Eid-el-fitri occasioned by the solemn and successful observance of Ramadan.
Ekweremadu, who urged Muslims to replicate the great lessons imbibed through the teachings and sober reflections in Ramadan, stated that finding lasting solutions to the rising spate of insecurity in the nation, should be one of the most urgent post-Ramadan challenges facing not only the Muslim Ummah, but the Nigerian people as a whole.
The Deputy Senate President advocated a contrite return to the nation's traditional and religious heritages of love and unity to stem the tide of insecurity and strengthen national peace and prosperity.
Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, called for prayers for unity and peace in his statement to mark the Eid celebration.
Tambuwal congratulated Muslim faithful on the successful completion of the Ramadan and wished them a peaceful Sallah celebration.
He urged Nigerians to continue to show love and be their brother's keeper and also to work for the unity and progress of the country.
'The celebration calls for sober reflection and therefore, we must reflect on the spiritual uplift we achieve within the holy month and continue to exhibit good character and extend hands of fellowship to all irrespective of our differences.'
Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, also tasked Muslims to continue to pray for the peace and security of the state as they celebrate Eid-el-fitr.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Reuben Buhari, the governor called on Muslims to use the occasion to extend the hands of friendship and harmony to people of other faiths as practised by Prophet Muhammed.
'We, in the state, are poised to lead with such examples. As we celebrate the end of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an today, let us sustain the security, peace and harmony that exist to take our state to the next level.
'As embodied by Prophet Muhammed, let us use this occasion to extend hands of friendship, peace and harmony to the people of other faiths as practiced by the Holy Prophet, to whom the Holy Qur'an was revealed.
The Deputy Governor of Niger State, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, urged people of the state to sustain the ideals of Ramadan beyond Eid-el-fitri.
Ibeto, who made the call in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mallam Danladi Ndayebo, urged Nigerians to remain close to the Almighty Allah as they were during Ramadan.
He urged Muslims to continue to uphold the ideals of piety, patience, tolerance, perseverance, humility and self-denial, which were observed vigorously during the month of Ramadan.
The acting governor said the Sallah celebration should be seen by all as another opportunity to remain devoted and submissive to the will of the Almighty Allah, pointing out that those who are alive to witness the Eid-el-fitr should be grateful to God since some people were not alive to witness the beginning of the holy month while some other people witnessed the beginning but were not alive to witness its end.
In Katsina State, wife of the governor, Hajia Fatima Shema, through her non-governmentalorganization, (NGO), 'Service to Humanity Foundation yesterday donated clothes to about 1,200 street kids otherwise known as Almajiri, to mark the end of Ramadan.
Speaking through the co-ordinator of the foundation, Mallam Lawal Charanchi, the governor's wife noted that the group had earlier conducted series of workshops and seminars with other stakeholders on Almajirai Quranic school system to improve their system of education.
Mrs Shema noted that the Quranic School's pupils were being assisted with food items and lodging, in addition to free health services through mobile ambulance scheme. On his part, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, urged Nigerians to use the Sallah period to rededicate themselves to values and virtues that would promote love, tolerance, brotherhood and unity among all groups in the country.
The governor, who stated this in a goodwill message signed by his Chief Press Secretary Chukwudi Achife, congratulated Muslims on the successful observance 0f the Ramadan, noting that it had been a period of purification and deep reflections on Allah's eternal love and compassion for mankind which according to him, should reflect on the attitude of all Nigerians to human life and to one another.
He commended Muslims in the state for the contributions and sacrifices they have continued to make towards the rapid development of the state especially through their respect for the rule of law and peaceful coexistence with their neighbours and people of other religious persuasions.
'As we celebrate with our brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith on the occasion of Eid-el-fitr, we urge all of us to use this occasion to rededicate ourselves to values and virtues that promoted love, tolerance, brotherhood and unity among all Nigerians,' the governor said.
Former Lagos State governor and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also called on Nigerians to seize the spirit of the Eid-el-fitr to re-discover Nigeria.
'With the successful completion of the Ramadan, it is time Nigerians came together as one family and as one community to actualize the dreams of our founding fathers,' he said in a special release to mark the Islamic festival.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Olakunle Abimbola, the former governor urged Nigerians, in the spirit of the season, to show love to one another, so as to tide the country over its present troubles and tribulations.
He said though every country has its ups and downs, it is bonding through love and togetherness that pulls each country out of its difficult moments.
The former governor seized the opportunity to commiserate with the global United Nations family, as a result of the bomb blast in its Abuja, Nigeria office, as well as with President Goodluck Jonathan, the government and people of Nigeria, over the heinous blast.
'I wish to condole with the UN family in Nigeria and others who lost loved ones and colleagues to that condemnable bombing. May God forgive and accept the souls of the dead. But may God also give us, the living, the courage to realise that violence does not solve any problem. If anything, it escalates problems,' he said.
Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, in his felicitation message enjoined Nigerian Muslims to ensure that the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan become their guiding principles and should inform their dealings with their fellow citizens.
'I rejoice with our Muslim brothers and sisters as they commemorate the end of Ramadan. We thank the Almighty for seeing them through the period and pray that Allah will accept their fasting as act of worship and bless them accordingly. As we celebrate, we should take time to remember and pray for those who lost loved ones in the unfortunate bombing incident at the United Nations House in Abuja. We should also beseech Allah to grant those who were wounded speedy recovery.
'Let me seize this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians to eschew all acts of violence and actions that could plunge the country into chaos. We should continue to build on those things that unite us as a nation and should shun all divisive tendencies, be it religious or political. Self-restraint, sacrifice, love for the less privileged and our country, which are some of the essential ingredients of piety, should not be shown in words alone but also in our actions. We must all come together and work for the greater glory of our fatherland irrespective of our religious and political affiliation', Daniel said.
While wishing all Muslims a joyous celebration, the former governor appealed to Nigerians to celebrate in moderation while also enjoining all road users to drive with care in order to avoid carnage on our roads.