Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu, Govs, Others Advocate Unity, Peace

  •   Yobe gov places restriction on vehicle, Police ban rallies in Niger State

Abimbola Akosile in Lagos, Michael Olugbode in Damaturu, Laleye Dipo in Minna and Victor Ogunje in Ado-Ekiti

As Nigeria and the rest of the world celebrate Eid-el-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, prominent Nigerians have called for unity and peace among all the citizens, in the spirit of the season.

Among the personalities, former Lagos governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has called on Nigerians to ignore those calling for violence or issuing quit notice to other Nigerians to leave their areas. According to him, Nigeria could be a stronger, a more unified and a prosperous nation when citizens listen to the genuine concerns of others with a spirit of understanding.

He said it was necessary for those calling for Nigeria’s break-up to desist from such and seek ways of laying a foundation of dialogue and collective purpose for all Nigerians.

Tinubu said this in a statement entitled ‘Eid-el-Fitr Message: The Spirit, Strength of Our Diversity” which was signed and issued yesterday by his Media Adviser, Tunde Rahman.

He said: “Voices calling for violence must be roundly condemned for it is wrong to incite brother to go against brother and neighbour to combat neighbour. Voices calling for secession and break-up are wrong and should not be followed.

“However, in the spirit of understanding, we must listen to the genuine concerns of our fellow Nigerians so that we may make of ourselves a stronger, more unified and prosperous nation built on a foundation of dialogue and collective purpose.”

On the just concluded Ramadan fast and the Eid-el-Fitr celebration, the ex-governor said: “the spirit of sacrifice, self-discipline, goodwill, justice, tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and compassion inherent in the Ramadan Fast should remain with Muslim faithful to guide their day-to-day interactions and relationships with one another.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, also urged Nigerians to embrace the virtues of tolerance, unity and cooperation regardless of their ethnic, religious or social status, saying that it was only in such atmosphere that the nation can make meaningful progress.

The Governor, in his Eid-el-Fitr message, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said “it is only by embracing peace, unity and fairness that Nigerians can put the country back on its leadership pedestal, urging them to imbibe the tenets of love, tolerance, forgiveness and brotherhood which the period of the holy month symbolises.”
According to him, “Nigeria was in dire need of brotherly love and harmonious co-existence among her citizens above all other things as a means to overcome the numerous challenges threatening her fledgling unity, especially with the disturbing trend of hate speeches.” Ambode added that in the last two years, despite the economic challenges, the nation has witnessed appreciable level of development expressing optimism that more can be achieved if all hands are on deck. Continuing, he said: “As we celebrate this auspicious occasion, therefore, let us renew our faith in our nation and implore the Almighty God to restore to us those values that place high premium on human life, love for our country, love for our neighbour and sharing even as we ventilate our faith in the unity of our dear country and the possibility of her taking her proper place in the comity of nations”.

The governor thanked Lagos residents for their continued harmonious and peaceful co-existence in the midst of diverse ethnic origin and religious affiliation. He also wished all Muslim brothers and sisters in the State a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Also, Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)’s Governors’ Forum, Ayodele Fayose has greeted Muslims across the country at Ramadan, urging them to embrace peace, love and understanding for one another.

In a press release sent to journalists in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital saturday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose urged Muslims to remember that the annual “Ramadan fast is regarded as one of the five Pillars of Islam, others being testimony of faith, prayer, giving (Zakat), which is also support for the needy and the pilgrimage to Mecca: These are the framework of the Muslim life.

“Let us therefore, shun all attitudes, behaviours, and actions that promote hatred, religious intolerance, disunity and violence and embrace true love that would promote peace and unity among us as a nation to allow for meaning progress and development which our dear nation is in dire need of now,” he added.

Likewise, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has felicitated with Muslim faithful in the country and all over the world on the celebration of the Eid-el-Fitr .

The Minister, in his message by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, congratulated Muslims on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast, stressing that witnessing another Eid-el-Fitri was a special privilege from the Almighty Allah who has control over the destiny of man.

Fayemi said the 30-day spiritual exercise, no doubt, has drawn the faithful closer to Allah and urged them to keep on practising the lessons learnt from the holy month in their relationship with their Maker and fellow human beings.
He also urged the citizens to be vigilant and celebrate in moderation, noting that the current situation in the country and globally has made it imperative for Muslims and adherents of other religions to live in love, peace and harmony with one another, and seek the face of God in prayer for divine intervention.

Meanwhile, former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has taken stock of the unfolding sectional agitation calling for a break up of Nigeria and reminded promoters of the divisive agenda of the consequences of a fragmented nation.
Mark cautioned the agitators of a possible break up of Nigeria to think otherwise “because the trend today is that nations are coming together and bridging gaps of differences for mutual cooperation under a new world order of globalisation for a better society. Nigeria is part of the global community.”

In a goodwill message to Nigerians marking this year’s Eid-el-Fitri celebration, he urged Muslim faithful to imbibe the lessons of the Holy month of Ramadan and continue to pray for peace, unity and stability of Nigeria.

He cautioned those stirring up the embers of disunity, anarchy and confusion to desist from doing so and concentrate their efforts toward building a more stable, prosperous and united Nigeria stressing that “we have more to gain staying together than falling apart”.

In a release issued and signed by his media assistant, Mr. Paul Mumeh, Mark also prayed that wise counsel prevails between and among Nigerians irrespective of religion or tribal sentiments.

Also, Senator Oluremi Tinubu representing Lagos Central Senatorial District has enjoined Muslim faithful and Nigerians in general to shun all attempts to cause disunity in the land.

In a message to her constituents on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitri entitled ‘One Nigeria’, the Senator said “Nigerians need one another and the variety of our contributions. The beauty of the Nigerian nation is the cumulative of its fragments.”

Senator Tinubu congratulated all Muslim faithful in the Lagos Central Senatorial District and Nigeria on the successful completion of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid-el-Fitri.

“I enjoin us to live peacefully in this season and subsequently, give a helping hand to those around us. In the words of Prophet Mohammed (SAW), do not consider any kindness insignificant, even meeting your brother with a cheerful face (every act of kindness is sadqa)!”

Meanwhile, Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam has placed a restriction on vehicular movement to check against security breaches during the Eid-el-Fitri.

The governor, who called for unity among all Nigeria in his Eid-el-Fitri message, imposed a restriction in vehicular movement between 10 pm on Saturday (yesterday) and 10am on Sunday (today) to prevent any security hitches.

The governor, in a statement issued yesterday by his spokesman Mallam Abdullahi Bego said “all vehicular movement in the state is restricted with effect from 10.00 pm tonight (Saturday 24th June 2017) to 10.00am on Sunday (25th June 2017).

The governor however said the restriction “is conditional on the sighting of the new moon Saturday and confirmation that the Eid-el-Fitr will be Sunday.”

He added that: “If the moon has not been sighted and the Eid will be on Monday, the restriction will apply only from 10.00pm on Sunday (25th June 2017) to 10.00 am on Monday (26th June 2017).
“The public should also note that, stemming from this measure, no vehicle will be allowed in any Eid prayer ground throughout the state.”

The governor in his message to the people, said: “We should also, as good citizens, more than ever before, be prepared to work together, and act together in our resolve for the attainment of a happier and more prosperous future for our State and indeed our great country, Nigeria.

Also, the police yesterday said it has banned all forms of rallies, procession and demonstration in all parts of Niger state “before, during and after the Muslim festival of Eid- el- Fitri. The police also reminded the people of the state that the law prohibiting the use of firearms was still in force.

Police Public Relations Officer DSP Bala Elkana who made these known also said that no item other than prayer mats and rosaries would be allowed at all the prayer grounds during Sallah.

According to Elkana Muslim faithful attending the sallah prayers would be properly screened in addition to their not being allowed to near the end ground with any bag.

Elkana warned that “the police would deal decisively with anyone that foments trouble in the state this festive period. We will not tolerate lawlessness during this period.”

In the meantime not less than 4,555 security operatives have been mobilised to provide security in the 25 local government areas of the state. 1,555 of the operatives were men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps while the others were policemen.