By Deji Elumoye
President Muhammadu Buhari and President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, have called on Nigerians to pray for the nation to overcome the myriad of problems facing it.
In their separate messages on Wednesday to celebrate Eid Al Fitri, the end of Ramadan, the two Nigerian leaders said this is the best time for Nigerians to remember the country in prayers for it to remain as one indivisible country.
President Buhari, in a message personally signed by him, implored the citizenry to pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of Nigeria as a united entity.
He said: “We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”
While sending his best wishes to all Nigerians and Muslims across the globe as they mark the Eid Al Fitr following the completion of a month of fasting, the President said: “On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.
“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.
“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.”
According to the president, it is noteworthy and delightful to see Christians breaking fast and in some instances, extending goodwill and gifts to Muslim faithful during the Ramadan.
“This model also shone through with Muslim groups joining Christian festivities. These are practices that promote brotherhood and forgiveness,” he said.
President Buhari also urged Nigerians to continue to observe all COVID-19 prevention measures and celebrate responsibly during the holidays.
On his part, the Senate President, Dr Lawan, heartily felicitated with the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria on the completion of this year’s Ramadan fast saying: “Every true Muslim feels joy at participating in the Ramadan fast, which is a key obligation in Islam. May Almighty Allah therefore reward us for the spiritual voyage and grant our earnest wishes for ourselves, families and dear country.”
According to him, due to the current security and economic challenges, Nigeria needs the prayers of every patriot now more than ever before to achieve the peace, unity and progress that were the dreams of the founding fathers.
He assured Nigerians that government, including the National Assembly, will not waiver in its determination to provide robust security in the country that guarantees every law abiding citizen the liberty to live in peace and pursue their legitimate businesses anywhere they choose.
He said: “Let us remain strong in our hope that Nigeria will become what we fervently want it to be: a nation that fills its citizens with happiness and pride.”