- APC preaches unity, at Eid-el-Fitr
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has given kudos to the acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, for giving a good account of himself in running the affairs of the country.
The commendation came just as the All Progressives Congress (APC), urged Nigerians to exercise temperance, love and understanding, while shunning divisive and hate speech.
In his Eid-el-Fitr message to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting period, Atiku said the acting president has demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness at a point the countryâ€™s unity was being ominously threatened.
â€œOsinbajo has demonstrated strong leadership by moving fast to nip the recent tension in the country in the bud, which arose from the quit notice issued on the Igbos by a coalition of northern Youth group and the counter notices from groups from other regions,â€ Atiku said.
In a statement issued yesterday by his Media Office, Atiku said:
â€œBy moving quickly to invite chief executives of the 36 states, traditional rulers, religious leaders and other leaders of thought across the country, the acting president has proved himself to be a very sensitive leader who demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness at a point the countryâ€™s unity was being ominously threatened.â€
While commending Osinbajo for giving a good account of himself in running the affairs of the country, Atiku urged continued prayers for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari who is receiving medical treatment in the United Kingdom.
He added that Osinbajoâ€™s prompt response to the situation had earned him the respect of many Nigerians, adding that Nigeria cannot afford to toy with its unity when the rest of Africa envies its resilience.
Atiku urged Nigerians to demonstrate a greater spirit of tolerance and firmer commitment to peaceful coexistence, which he describes as the prerequisite for unity and love in Nigeria.
He also urges Muslims to imbibe the lessons of the fast, which include: self discipline and sacrifice through abstention from eating, drinking and sinful acts.
â€œAbstention from eating and drinking should go a long way to create empathy from the rich towards the poor, making the well- to-do appreciate the conditions of millions who go hungry because of poverty,â€ the Waziri Adamawa said. â€œI urge well-to-do Muslims to identify with ordinary Nigerians who go without food almost every day, and to be more concerned about what to do to improve their plight.â€
He also urged all Muslims to extend the lessons of the fasting period beyond the Ramadan.
Speaking on Nigeriaâ€™s current challenges, the former vice president calls on his fellow Muslims to be good ambassadors of Islam by demonstrating the spirit of tolerance, love, respect for others and firmer commitment to peaceful coexistence.
Atiku said Nigeriaâ€™s diversity should be translated into love, and religion should be a vehicle for cementing love and harmony amongst the people.
â€œThe greatest tribute Muslims can pay to the Prophet Muhammad is to live by his example of a pacifist spirit and tolerance,â€ Atiku said.
â€œThese are the tools with which to strengthen the pillars of Nigeriaâ€™s unity. There is no religion in the world that doesnâ€™t preach love, but practice has far greater impact on perception than precept.â€
On its part, his party, the APC, congratulated the Muslim community for successfully completing the Ramadan fast and urged them to continue to pray for the peace, unity and prosperity of the country.
In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC said: â€œAs a party, we note that the economic progress and development the country seeks cannot be achieved in a state of rancour, disunity and discord. The party therefore urges all Nigerians, especially the people of faith, to exercise temperance, love and understanding, while shunning divisive and hate speech.
The ruling party noted that although the country has gone through several challenges recently occasioned by the economic recession, the future is bright as the federal government implements policies and programmes to diversify the economy, secure the future and ensure enduring legacies.
It expressed gratitude to all Nigerians for their support of the President Buhari administration.