- As Lawan, Gbajabiamila, others urge sacrifice, patience
By Lawrence Olaoye, Christiana Ekpa Abuja, Uche Uche, Damaturu and Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
President Muhammadu Buhari has advised Muslims to distance themselves from those who preach violence.
The President said that, the greatest commitment Muslims can show to Islam is to put its good virtues into pactice, and to make justice and righteousness the guiding principle of everyday life.
He expressed worry that violent extremist ideas sometimes shown by some Muslims give Islam a wrong name.
According to his Special Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, via his verified Twitter handle, @BashirAhmaad, the President spoke on Sunday during his Eid-el-Kabir message to the nation.
This is even as the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has urged Nigerians, particularly the Muslim faithful, to remember the purpose of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, which he said, is to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet Ibrahim.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, also yesterday urged Nigerian Muslims to rededicate themselves to the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
President Buhari stated, “I wish all Muslims in Nigeria and around the world happy and joyous Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
“The greatest commitment Muslims can show to Islam is to put its good virtues into practice, and to make justice and righteousness the guiding principle of everyday life.
“Muslims should strive to be the mirror through which others see the good virtues of our faith.
“Islam is a religion of peace, and we should reject violent extremist ideas that give Islam a wrong name, because our conduct leaves more lasting positive impressions than our words.”
He added that, “The only way we can neutralise the evil that is violent extremism is to distance ourselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach violence against innocent people — which flies in the face of the teachings of Islam.
“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.
“Extremism is like a cancer, which must be detected and destroyed from its early stages of growth.
“It is noteworthy that despite occasional setbacks, Boko Haram have been so militarily weakened and scattered by our Armed Forces that they are no longer in a position to occupy any part of Nigeria, let alone hoist their flag and impose their reign of terror longer than 24 hours.
“As our armed forces get more equipped and trained, in addition to being more motivated and reinvigorated, this administration is relentlessly committed to protecting Nigerians, no matter what it takes to bring a permanent end to this evil.
“And this assurance applies not only to Boko Haram terrorism, but also to the challenges of kidnapping, cultism and other forms of banditry.
“All will be dealt with uncompromisingly, until we see the back of these evils plaguing our country.”
The Senate President speaking through his Media Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, in his Sallah message, admonished Nigerians to be steadfast in their commitment to building the nation of their dream.
“I urge all to take inspiration from the exemplary virtues demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim through his sacrifice, patience, steadfastness, generosity and obedience to Allah’s command and constituted authority,” the statement read in part.
Mr Lawan, who is in Saudi Arabia participating in the Hajj, also enjoined Nigerians to always remember their shared heritage and destiny of national greatness and to be guided by the Nigerian spirit of firm confidence as they tackle the contemporary challenges of nation-building.
In a similar message, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked Nigerian Muslims to rededicate themselves to the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
The Speaker, who is also in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, said the teachings of the Holy Prophet should be replicated by all Nigerians.
In a statement by his Media Adviser, Lanre Lasisi, the lawmaker said Eid-el-Kabir is a festival of sacrifice that reminds one of the needs for sacrifice and obedience.
“It is my strong belief that if the charity and generosity displayed by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) to the less-privileged and the community are replicated by every one of us, the greatness Nigeria desires is assured,” the Speaker said and prayed for Allah’s blessings to be on Nigeria and Nigerians.
Equally, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Ahmed Idris Wase has enjoined the Muslim Ummah to always be guided by the attributes and lessons from the life and times of Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) which symbolizes peace, love and tolerance.
According to his Sallah Massage issued by his Chief press secretary, Umar Muhammad Puma, he urged the Muslim community in the country to be worthy ambassadors of the faith and pray for the progress of the nation.
Similarly, the Governor of Kaduna State , Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has felicitated with the Muslim community on the occasion of Eid-El-Kabir.
He called on Muslims to reflect on the meaning of the festival of sacrifice. He said that in troubled times, there are poignant lessons from the act of absolute faith in Almighty Allah that the festival commemorates.
While urging the community to celebrate the festival with modesty, Malam El-Rufai called for a renewed commitment to exemplary conduct, goodwill and peaceful relations with other members of the great family of humanity.
Also, Yobe State Governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni has enjoined faithful Muslims to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice in imitation of Prophet Ibrahim who offered to sacrifice his son, Ismail.
This was contained in the governor’s Sallah message and made available to our reporter in Damaturu, Yobe State by his Director-general, press affairs Abdullahi Bego.