•Saraki, Ekweremadu seek prayers for sustainable peace
Omololu Ogunmade and Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commiserated with victims of terrorism, kidnapping and banditry in the country, threatening that the days of the criminals are numbered.
The president in his Sallah message to Nigerians in commemoration of the end of Ramadan fasting season, said his administration would never allow criminals and mass murderers to hold the country to ransom.
On their part, Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, urged Nigerians to seize the occasion to pray for sustainable peace in the country.
Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying that his administration would pursue the criminals with vigour and bring them to justice.
“Their days are numbered because this administration will pursue them relentlessly and bring them to justice,” he said.
The statement also quoted the president as saying that he was satisfied with the recent conduct of peaceful elections in Nigeria, despite what he called “doomsday predictions of social disharmony.”
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for what he described as a good job done despite the initial difficulties, praising the voters also for what he described as their tenacity and strong faith in the democratic process.
“Before the 2019 general elections, prophets of doom didn’t give the country a chance to conduct peaceful elections. Despite these fears, the country overcame its political challenges.
“For abandoning their businesses in order to vote, the voters had demonstrated great patriotism in coming out to exercise their civic duty.
“Let me use this opportunity once again to reassure all Nigerians that your sacrifices in voting for me won’t be in vain. I will ensure the ordinary voters feel the positive impact of government,” the president said.
The president also spoke on the lessons of Ramadan, urging the Muslims to always put humanity before personal interests.
“The Ramadan period is meant to reinforce us spiritually, therefore, we should use religion as an inspiration to do good at all times.
“The virtues of the Ramadan should be sustained beyond the celebration. Going back to bad ways after the Ramadan might defeat the essence of the message and lessons the fasting period was supposed to inculcate in the hearts and minds of the Muslim faithful,” he added.
Saraki, Ekweremadu Urge Nigerians to Pray For Sustainable Peace
In a goodwill message to mark the occasion, the leadership of the Senate called on Nigerians to pray for sustainable peace in the country.
Saraki, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the prayers and sacrifices of the Muslim ummah during the fasting period contributed greatly to the relative peace witnessed across the country in the last one month.
He urged all Nigerians to seize the momentum of the completion of this year’s Ramadan to work for sustainable peace, security and economic well-being of the country.
“Our greatest challenges as a nation are insecurity and economic crises. And there is need for both government officials and those who voted them into office to co-operate in solving these problems.
“On the security front, even though we acknowledge that new threats have continued to emerge, we believe that our security forces have all it takes to nip them in the bud in due course.
“This is the more reason why all hands must be on deck to ensure the full restoration of lasting peace and security across the country. This, I believe, will provide a conducive business environment that would encourage investments – through which jobs and better opportunities for our people will be created.
“Winning the war on insecurity can only come from the collective efforts of all Nigerians through cooperation with security forces in supplying timely intelligence that would aid them in their job of protecting lives and property across the country,” Saraki stated.
While felicitating with Muslims on the completion of the spiritual exercise during the Ramadan, he urged them not to relent in displaying the discipline, restraint, discretion, piety and good neighbourliness, which were very obvious during the fasting period.
Saraki further urged Nigerians not to relent in their prayers for the peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians and to be their brother’s keeper at all times.
On his part, Ekweremadu called on the Muslim Ummah to keep praying for the nation and also sustain the virtues imbibed during Ramadan beyond the holy month.
Ekweremadu in his Sallah message said continually praying for the peace, security, and progress of Nigeria and walking in the right direction would surely turn the fortunes of the country around.
He congratulated the Muslim Ummah on their successful journey of faith, discipline, peace and love throughout the month of Ramadan and implored them to ensure that the great virtues of peace, love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and patriotism imbibed during the Ramadan fast are felt in every aspect of our national lives beyond the holy month.
“I urge the Muslim Ummah and indeed all Nigerians to continually pray for the nation in the face of the worrisome security and daunting national challenges. I have no doubt that with prayers and the right attitudes and policies, Nigeria will emerge stronger from her present difficulties,” he said.