Tinubu, Buhari, Governors Observe Eid Prayers, Implore Nigerians to Show Charity to the Vulnerable

·    Ex-president raises the alarm over unchecked population growth

·    Saraki, others pray for Nigeria’s unity

Deji Elumoye, Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja, Segun Awofadeji in Gombe and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin 

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his predecessor, ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, observed Eid prayers in Lagos and Daura, respectively, where they called on Nigerians to show more care towards their neighbours and extend charity to the vulnerable.

While Tinubu urged Nigerians to love their neighbours, Buhari tasked them to help one another, considering the situation of the country.

The former president also warned that uncontrolled population growth in the country should be a matter of concern to all, as it portended danger to future generations.

State governors, including Gombe State Governor Muhammadu Yahaya; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; and Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, prayed for Nigeria’s unity.

Similarly, former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, observed Eid prayers in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, where he preached care for one another.

Speaking with journalists yesterday in Lagos after observing the Eid-el-Kabir prayers, Tinubu said some level of sacrifice would be required to move the country forward. 

According to him, “We have been told by the Chief Imam how we can follow the path of sacrifice. The sacrifice required of a good citizen. Citizenship comes with responsibilities. As citizens, what do we need to do to be committed members of our society? Yes, that is sacrifice, loving your country, loving your neighbours; sharing what you have with each other. And to always be thankful to Almighty God.”

Earlier in his sermon, Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Suleiman Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla, who led the prayers, reiterated the need for more love, sacrifice and, care for the poor and the vulnerable. 

Abou-Nolla said, “Our leaders, like the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, Funmilayo Ransome -Kuti, to mention a few, sacrificed their knowledge, wealth, sweat, and even life, to the growth and development of the country we call ours today. All their activities and actions were geared towards nation-building.

“We must, therefore, ensure that their sacrifices are not in vain. It is incumbent on us to follow their footsteps to ensure that this nation, Nigeria, continues to grow in leaps and bounds.”

The chief imam also urged citizens to pray that God Almighty should grant the president the strength and wisdom to deliver on his vision for a better and prosperous nation.

In his Daura hometown in Katsina State, Buhari urged Nigerians to be their bothers’ keepers.

He told journalists shortly after joining the Emir of Daura, Dr Faruk Umar Faruk, to observe the Eid prayer at Daura Eid ground, “I use this occasion to make an appeal to all citizens to make Nigeria self-reliant. Let us grow our own food. We have shown that we can do it. This is not the time to relent when we see prices going up.

“Let us buy what is produced in the country.

The foundation of a prosperous and stable country has been laid by successive governments, and I encourage our youth, in particular, to continue to play an active role in various nation-building efforts.

“I urge the youth of the country to seek to know about the founding fathers of the nation, the important personalities of their regions, and derive inspiration from them.”

The former president also expressed concern at unchecked population expansion, saying it will bring a lot of problems to future generations.

“There is a need for greater discussion and awareness about this problem, as well as a need to invest more in education and health,” he said.

Buhari further said, “Considering the situation in the country, and in the spirit of the Sallah, let us help one another and be our bothers’ keepers.

“I wish everyone a happy Sallah. May this special festival bring joy, prosperity and wonderful health to everyone.”

Speaking to members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who had maintained a tradition of paying homage to him every Sallah, Buhari said, “The scheme continues to be a strong fabric holding the country together and I will want successive administrations to continue to strengthen it.”

He described the NYSC as one of the greatest achievements of General Yakubu Gowon as Head of State.

As was his tradition annually, the former president gave a cow, 10 bags of rice, and some cash to the NYSC members to celebrate Sallah.

In Ilorin, Saraki urged everyone to remember the less-privileged and extend a helping hand to those in need by sharing blessings through charity or simple acts of kindness. He stated this yesterday shortly after observing the two rakats prayers at Ilorin central praying ground to mark the of Eid-El Kabir celebration.

He prayed to Allah to guide the country’s leaders with wisdom and compassion to make decisions that will bring prosperity, peace, and development to the people. 

AbdulRazaq also urged Nigerians to continue to pray for the unity, peace. and progress of the country. The governor spoke in Ilorin yesterday after observing the two rakats prayers at the Ilorin central praying ground, along Irewolede area, to mark Eid-el-Adha.

He said, “Yesterday, the Amirul Hajj for Kwara, Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, reached out to me from the holy land and asked for my prayer points. I said my prayer for Nigeria is unity, peace, and progress. 

“Today, my message is same: unity, peace, and progress. For those of us who have seen today, we say Alhamdulillaah. For those who have departed, we say may Allaah grant them Al-jannah Firdaus.”

Yahaya called on leaders at all levels to embrace the lessons of the Eid el-Kabir festival, which symbolised sacrifice, obedience and a profound test of faith for the benefit of the people.

The governor conveyed the message during a feast with heads of government agencies at his official residence, shortly after the Eid prayer in Gombe.  

Acknowledging the global and national economic challenges, Yahaya expressed confidence that Nigeria could emerge stronger if both leaders and citizens drew lessons from the festival and embraced patriotism.

Obaseki also tasked Nigerians on perseverance, good neighbourliness, and sacrifice in pursuit of a progressive society.

The governor, in a statement to mark the Eid-el-Kabir festivities, urged the Muslim faithful to espouse these virtues, which are the hallmark of the season.

Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, yesterday, urged Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotism and keep hope alive amid diverse strategic measures the federal government had been taking to guarantee fiscal and monetary stability.

Bamidele also pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage. 

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message released yesterday by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs.

Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Aliyu Tukur Tahir, also felicitated the Muslim community in Nigeria on the occasion of Eid-el-Adha and prayed to Allah to bless the ummah and keep them on the path of goodness. 

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