As Muslims celebrate Eid-el Kabir, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) arrived in Daura, Katsina State to celebrate the Sallah holiday. Meanwhile, the President; Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and other Federal Government dignitaries have congratulated Nigerians on the Sallah celebrations.
In a similar vein, presidential candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, felicitated Nigerians, urging Muslims and Nigerians to live exemplary and peaceful lives with one another according to the dictates of Islam.
Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State also called on Nigerians to use the opportunity to imbibe and demonstrate the values of peace, love and sacrifice that the celebration embodies.
The leaders also prayed for peace, unity and prosperity of the country during the festivities, while lamenting the spate of violence perpetrated in recent times.
They also prayed for the safety of security agencies who are fighting against bandits and non-state actors to preserve the sovereignty of the nation.
Lawan said the ninth National Assembly would continue to work assiduously and collaborate with the other arms of government towards stabilising the security and economy of the country to the relief of all Nigerians.
He said, “Since the inauguration of the ninth Assembly in 2019, we have enacted a good number of quality legislations to improve the security situation and boost the economy.
“We know that more needs to be done to overcome the challenges. The government is not relenting in addressing the challenges and we are confident they will soon become history.
“As we approach another election year, I earnestly urge Nigerians to look to the future with hope. We will continue to play our roles as a government and count on the prayers and support of the people.”
In a similar vein, Gbajabiamila; the deputy speaker, Idris Wase; and the minority caucus also rejoiced with Muslims, while calling for prayers, unity and patriotism.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi said, “At times like this, the speaker said it is incumbent on the people to be united as one people to face the challenges confronting the country. The speaker is optimistic that with prayers, Nigeria will overcome her challenges, while calling for special prayers for the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections.”
Wase, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Puma, called on Muslims to use the holiday to offer prayers for the unity and progress of the country in the face of the current economic and security challenges.
Similarly, Tinubu, and his wife, Oluremi, in separate statements urged Muslims faithful to embrace peace, unity, tolerance and justice as they celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.
Tinubu in his statement on Friday stated that the significance of the holiday should not be neglected.
The former Lagos State governor further described the increase in violent attacks as “most troubling” stating that the perpetrators of “such inhumanity do so in opposition to Islam and all that it means.”
His wife urged Nigerians not to give up on the unity of the country. She stated, “As we collectively confront our challenges as a nation and build a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria, by acknowledging God’s supremacy, genuine love and respect for one another, I enjoin us to remain steadfast to the cause of a united Nigeria.”
Atiku also urged the current regime to show love to the people, in the spirit of the Eid-el-Kabir by prioritising the needs of the citizens and discharging its responsibilities. While praying for the peace of the nation, he urged Nigerians to work hard for the “unity of all peoples, tribes, and faiths in the country.
He said in a statement, “I wish to also task the government at all levels to play its constitutional role, by being upright and dutiful and prioritise the needs of the people they have taken an oath to serve. The unity, security and development of our country are sacrosanct.
“The expression of love and sacrifice symbolised by the Eid-el-Kabir celebration has a strong effect on the relationship between the government and the governed. It is incumbent on the government to optimally discharge its responsibilities to the people. It is only when this is done that there can be love between the government and the governed.
“As stakeholders, the citizens too should take a lesson from the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir by being up and doing in their civic responsibilities.
“As we inch towards the deadline on the ongoing voter registration exercise, the people must ensure that they play their roles by not just getting their permanent voter cards, but casting their votes for the best candidates in the elections next year.
“Above all, I pray for peace during and after the Eid celebration even as I task Nigerians to work even harder in ensuring unity of all peoples, tribes and faiths in the country.”
Meanwhile, a former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, congratulated Muslims and other faithful on this year’s Eid-el-Kabir. While urging them to remember those whose movement had been restricted by the activities of non-state actors when they converge on different grounds to worship Allah, he urged Nigerians and Muslim clergies to pray for peace, security, unity and prosperity of the country.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki urged Muslims to demonstrate in their daily activities the values of the celebration which are “obedience to Allah, genuine sacrifice to and faith in their creator.” He also urged Nigerians to pray for God’s guidance in the choice of visionary leaders in the forthcoming elections.
The statement read in part, “As we get ready to go to the polls next year to elect new leaders, we should pray for the guidance of Allah in doing what is right and working honestly for the elections to produce leaders whose policies, programmes, and projects will restore unity, peace, stability, prosperity, inclusivity, justice, equity and patriotism in our country.”
The governor of Lagos State also felicitated Muslims as he urged Nigerians to make sacrifices for the development of the country.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the governor called on Lagos residents to draw lessons from the Prophet’s examples by avoiding any action that could disturb the peace, unity, and stability of the country.
The statement read in part, “This symbolic Islamic festival is a reminder to us that there will always be great rewards when we have abiding faith and patience in trying periods; persistence in prayers and tenacity in our beliefs. It also reminds us of the sacrifice we are expected to make not only for spiritual fulfillment but also for the progress of mankind and development of our society.”
Also, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, pledged that the Assembly would continue to come up with bills to protect the lives and property of residents of the state.
The speaker, in a statement, said, “Concerning the safety of lives and property, Lagos remains a shining light; a good example of a government that works for its people. With all the arms of the government working together, we have achieved greater feats in the area of security.
“Your representatives at the Assembly have never shied away from the task of making our dear state attractive and better for its residents. We have made laws and passed resolutions that have helped in this regard,” he said.
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has also felicitated Muslim faithful in the state over the celebration, with the call on them to celebrate with moderation.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, he stated, “As we know that the country is being confronted with challenges, particularly security, I want to enjoin our Muslim brothers to celebrate with moderation. As Islam preaches, they should also remember the poor and share the merry with them.
“Similarly, the festival must be used to invoke Allah’s mercy on our country, state and homes, especially at this period our nation is faced with banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and insurgency.”
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, also urged Muslims to use the occasion to offer prayers for sustained development, peace and unity, as the state prepares for its governorship election.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, the governor said, “Therefore, as Muslims, we must always exhibit the act of genuine sacrifice and submission to the will of Allah which are the major lessons of this festival. We must endeavour to make sacrifices for ourselves, our families, our neighbours, our state, and our country.
“As a government, we have done everything possible to ensure a credible and peaceful exercise come July 16, 2022. I reassure you that I will continue to work for the socio-economic development and prosperity of our dear State.”
The Kwara State governor, who congratulated the Muslim community on the dawn of Arafah Day as well as the Eid-el-Adha, said the two occasions offered the faithful another rare opportunity to seek God’s bounties as well as bond with one another in an atmosphere of love and unity.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor specifically congratulated the pilgrims from Kwara State and Nigeria as they reached an important milestone of the spiritual journey to Mecca, tasking them and citizens back home to take advantage of the moment to beseech Allah for His continuous mercies on the state, Nigeria, and humanity as a whole.
“Similarly, I appeal to our compatriots to imbibe the lessons of Eid-el-Adha as exemplified by Prophets Abraham and Muhammad, which are patience, sacrifice, faith in God, resilience in good causes, and selfless service to God and humanity. In this wise, nothing is too big to give for collective security, peace and progress of our state and Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, Obaseki in a statement said, “I felicitate our Muslim brothers and sisters on the celebration of the Eid-el-Kabir. As we join our Muslim faithful to mark this auspicious celebration, I urge everyone to imbibe the lesson of sacrifice that it symbolises. Beyond personal convictions, we all have a deeper and greater responsibility to God and humanity.
“Eid-el-Kabir offers us another opportunity to rededicate ourselves to our beneficent creator, and reinforces the virtues of patience, tolerance, and love.”
“These times demand that in our struggle to build a better nation, we are united and join hands across ethno-religious inclinations to work for our collective progress.”
Also, Wike has sued for peace, saying it is key to enhancing stability and the growth of the country.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, he congratulated Muslims and prayed for peace and wisdom in solving the challenges facing the nation, especially insecurity.
The governor promised that the State will continue to protect the rights of every citizen in the state and guarantee the freedom of worship and association as enshrined in the constitution.
Operatives deploy officers
State police commands have assured citizens to go about the Eid-el Kabir celebrations without fear. While it felicitate residents, it said it had deployed adequate operatives, tactical squads, and DPOs to all the nooks and crannies of the state, including vulnerable and crime-prone areas, to ensure the safety of lives and property.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi, in a statement on Friday, by the command’s spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, directed all Area Commanders, DPOs, Tactical Commanders and Intelligence Officers to ensure that all areas were well covered.
Similarly, the Edo State Police Command has deployed 3,426 personnel to provide security and maintain traffic during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
In a statement issued on Friday by its Deputy Public Relations Officer, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, the command said, “In the light of the above, the Commissioner of Police, CP Abutu Yaro, has deployed 3,426 Police and traffic personnel in an effort targeted at decimating crimes and criminality as well as improving the security of lives and property during and after the celebration.”
The Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Ari Muhammed, has warned ‘mischief makers’ to steer clear of the state, noting that they would be decisively dealt with during the Eid el-Kabir celebration.
In a statement by the command’s spokesperson, DSP Edafe Bright, Muhammed said, “The CP warns cultists and mischief makers to steer clear as the command will deal decisively with anybody who is found wanting.”
Meanwhile, the Commander, Ekiti Amotekun Corps, Brig. Gen. Joe Komolafe (retd.), said on Friday that operatives of the security agency had stepped up patrol of roads in the state. He said they had also put in place necessary security arrangements ahead of the Eid-el Kabir celebrations.
Komolafe said, “Nobody should entertain fear; we will be on the highways and patrol the Eid grounds to see that we are close to the places and after the exercise, everybody can go home and enjoy the celebration. We are networking, we are having 24 hours patrol to ensure that Ekiti is safe,” he said.
In a similar vein, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Babaji Sunday, has directed worshippers to park their vehicles 200 metres away from the Eid prayer ground located on Airport Road in Abuja.
In a statement by the command’s spokesperson, DSP Josephine Adeh, on Friday in Abuja, said, “No vehicle will be permitted to park 200 meters close to praying grounds in all praying ground within the FCT.”
While assuring the residents that tactical and intelligence assets had been strategically deployed, he said, “Worshipers and residents are, therefore, advised to cooperate with Police officers, deployed strictly for enforcement.”
The Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Haruna Garba, has promised a hitch-free celebration in the state.
He said the state command would continue to sustain ongoing efforts in the fight against crime and criminality before, during and after the festivities.