Senate President, Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; and his predecessor, David Mark, on Monday urged Muslim faithful to sustain the values and virtues which the Holy month of Ramadan taught them in the last one month.
The trio stated this in separate statements they issued in Abuja to felicitate with Muslims on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Fitri celebration.
Saraki, in his statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, in commemoration of this year’s Eid-el-Fitri, also urged all Nigerians to remain steadfast and prayerful in the face of daunting socio-economic challenges.
He said that the challenges were surmountable “if we all realign our character and deeds in tune with the wishes of Allah.”
He stated that the country can only regain its lost glory when the citizenry uphold the virtues of good neighbourliness and eschew intolerance of other people’s opinion, corruption, abuse of power, disregard for due process and disobedience to the laws of the land.
Saraki said, “I urge all Nigerians, across religious divides, to remain steadfast, prayerful and patriotic. The virtues of moderation, piety, regular supplication to Allah and being our brother’s keeper should subsist beyond the Ramadan. Beyond this, every Nigerian should seek to contribute to rebuilding the nation with renewed vigour.
“I also urge Boko Haram insurgents and other agents of destabilisation across the country to retrace their steps and give peace a chance in the spirit of the Eid-el-Fitri.
“Again, Nigerians who nurse one grudge or the other against the state should seek for legitimate and peaceful means of expressing their grievances so that it will be possible for their position to be better understood and addressed through constructive dialogue.
“Similarly, let us all refrain from using violence to express our stand on issues. Violence only destroys; it does not build. Let us also shun greed and other vices capable of undermining the socio-political growth of our dear nation.”
Ekweremadu, in his message, called on the Nigerian Muslims to use the occasion to pray for divine intervention in the face of the various forms of difficulties confronting the nation.
Ekweremadu called for unity and concerted efforts among Nigerians, irrespective of their various religious, tribal and political inclinations.
He said, “On this blessed occasion, I rejoice with the Nigerian Muslims and wish them a hitch-free Sallah celebration. I equally urge them to carry the lessons of the Holy month of Ramadan beyond the month by remaining a people who forgive and eschew rancour and bitterness, while also remaining just and sincere in their dealings with fellow Nigerians.
“As Nigerians, we must continue to strengthen the spirit of oneness, regardless of religious, ethnic, regional and political diversities, for that is the only way to surmount our daunting challenges and build a greater Nigeria.”
Mark, on his part, decried the rampant cases of violent crimes in the country, just as he challenged all men of good will to rise up to the occasion to remedy the situation.
He lamented the spate of crimes; ranging from terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, vandalism and religious extremism which were fast destroying the fabrics of our society.
He said, “Violent crimes are fast destroying our national landscape. The situation is alarming. This time calls for patriotism and service to rescue the situation.
“This is no longer an assignment for government alone. All hands must be on the deck. It is not the case between Cain and Abel, where one insists,’ I am not my brother’s keeper.”