Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, (retd) on Tuesday, 20th July pleaded with bandits and other violent criminals across the country to sheath their swords and embrace peace for the progress of the country.
This came as more state governors, organized labour and others, called for greater efforts by all Nigerians towards achieving peace and unity of the country.
The former Head of State who made the appeal after observing the two rakaat prayers for Eid el Kabir held at Minna Eid prayer ground on Tuesday said no religion preach or encourage shedding of blood of other fellow human beings and therefore called on them to have a rethink and shun violence.
According to him, “Islam is a religion of peace. Prophet Mohammed is totally against shedding of blood in the name of religion and so, anybody killing or encouraging shedding of blood in the name of Islam is not a true Muslim.
“All Muslims and indeed all Nigerians should be each other’s keepers, shun violence and think of what will unite us more than what will divide us. I therefore call on all kidnappers, bandits and others perpetrating violence across the country to have a rethink, sheath their swords and embrace peace for the well being of all Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, Governors Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Nasir El-Rufai, of Kaduna State, Muhammadu Yahaya of Gombe State, among others, have urged Nigerians to among others, intensify efforts at promoting a peaceful and united Nigeria.
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On his part, Governor Bello stressed the need for Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and religious differences to pray fervently for God to empower the Security Agencies and grant them the wisdom to overcome current security challenges bedeviling the country.
He also appealed to the people of Niger State to provide security agencies with genuine security information just as he expressed confidence that Niger state and Nigeria will soon overcome the current security problems.
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Also, immediate past Governor of the State, Dr Muazu Aliyu, advised Nigerians to support and collaborate with government and Security Agencies to overcome the present Security challenges across the country.
Similarly, Governor Samuel Ortom urged Nigerians to intensify prayers and support for unity and peace in the country.
The Governor, in a statement in Makurdi by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Terver Akase reiterated that the current spate of insecurity where hundreds of school children were kidnapped daily in parts of the country, armed herders frequently attacked farming communities and kill many people, as well as other acts of terrorism, could only be surmounted if security agencies were given adequate support.
“He emphasized that the safety of lives and property in all parts of the state would remain the priority of his administration. He gave assurance that the present administration will continue to uphold the values of transparency, accountability, justice and equity in serving the people of the state.
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Also, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in a personal Eid message to the people of the state, said the feast of sacrifice was a reminder to the rewards that await those who are patient and submit to God’s will and maintain excellent relations with fellow human beings, irrespective of their differences.
He said “We cannot afford to be complacent. I therefore urge all to be guided by COVID-19 protocols as issued by the federal government. We should at all times prioritise personal and public safety, including correct use of face mask.
“On this Eid and always, I commend us to work together, as one people under one God, to build a stronger country, and to jettison non-progressive politics and or everything that may threaten national peace and security or destroy the livelihood and joy of others.”
Similarly, Governor Lalong has expressed warm felicitations and admonished them to embrace the lessons of the exercise and work for a better society.
The governor in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, among others, expressed happiness that religiously-motivated insecurity has been largely tackled in the State, stressing “attention now is on criminality that borders on vices such as banditry, kidnapping, destruction of crops and livestock as well as attacks on innocent citizens.”
This he said “the Government is fighting with all its might to overcome as it has recently procured 200 security motorcycles and 50 patrol vans to boost the capacity of security agencies to deal with crimes in all parts of the state.”
On his part, Governor Okowa, stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace peaceful co-existence and turn to God to heal the land of multi-faceted ills afflicting it.
Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, urged the Islamic faithful to emulate the Holy Prophet Mohammed by imbibing the ideals of sacrifice exemplified by him, reminding Islamic faithful that Eid-el-Kabir was a season of love, peace and sacrifice.
He said: “This year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration amid prevailing insecurity and economic challenges calls for a sober reflection, especially for the many lives already lost on account of insecurity across the country.
“As you congregate for prayers and for celebration, please do not lower your guard; you must continue to wear face masks, maintain physical-distancing, wash hands in running water regularly and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers because the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is here with us”.
In the same vein, Governor el- Rufai in a message of felicitation signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, called for prayers for the state and the country in these challenging times and appealed for observance of COVID protocols as Muslim faithful celebrate Eid-el-Kabir.
The governor of Kaduna state commended the resilience of citizens in these tough times and prayed for the blessings of Allah for the immense sacrifices that are being made.
El-Rufai urged the Muslim community to keep hope alive, and to celebrate Eid el-Kabir in compliance with public health guidelines prescribed to protect everyone from the very infectious Delta variant Covid-19 that is already circulating in some states in the country.
Also, Governor Yahaya described the Eid el-Kabir as a period of sacrifice, sharing and caring, calling on the faithful to continue to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice, love, unity of purpose and obedience as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim ( AS) and upheld by Prophet Muhammad ( SAW).
According to him, “Gombe State is so peaceful, stable and progressive, and that has a lot to do with the disposition of peace, unity and tolerance that has been consistently nurtured and fostered. I therefore charge us all to continue to maintain this spirit.”.
Also, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in a statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba, among others, while felicitating with Nigerian Muslims on this year Eid-el-Kabir, said “What would life be without the loving sacrifice of workers? In the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir, workers have sacrificed the pursuit of personal wealth, fame and luxury in order to serve humanity. It is not for want of alternative choices that many workers choose to serve. We want to use the opportunity of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir to appeal to the conscience of Employers in Nigeria to show some respect for workers’ sacrifice.
“On this Eid-el-Kabir, workers must not wait for any political office holder or employer to confer worth to our sacrifice. We must be confident that our contribution is making a marked difference between life and death, prosperity and poverty, fulfillment and frustration, progression and retrogression, and cohesion and chaos.
“We must also use this Eid-el Kabir to remember the sacrifice of our soldiers, police officers, and other para military security operatives who toil under the sun and rain, in the bush, jungle, deserts, and mangroves to keep us safe and to keep the corridors of our socio-economic life open for legitimate activities. We must remember those of them whose sacrifice is the ultimate price. We must remember the families they left behind.
“There is no sacrifice too big to make for peace. We urge the Muslim Ummah to use the occasion of this Sallah to pray for the forgiveness of sin, peace in our country, for the safe return of all victims of hostage-for-ransom all over the country and for prosperity. There can never be development without peace and security.
” On this Eid-el-Kabir, we must commend and extend the worthy sacrifice of the Nigerian workforce to all segments of society. The Social Partners – Government –
” Employers – Workers must all renew our commitment to making worthy sacrifices towards building a peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, secured, and sustainable society.
” Once again, we join all our Muslim compatriots in celebrating this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.”
Also, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, in a statement by its President-General, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, among others, said “We appreciate the collaboration of NPA, NIMASA, NIWA, STOAN, NASC, employers and stakeholders for providing a convivial atmosphere for work and workers. We also congratulate Mr. President – Muhamadu Buhari, and his team for galvanizing impressive growth within the maritime sub sector and putting in place regulations and standards to govern service and marine operations.
“Our appreciation also goes to the ministers of Transportation and Labour for their commitment to developing the place of the Nigerian working people. We thank our fellow comrades for keeping faith with us and believing.”
On his part, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, in a release by the Corps Public Education Officer, Assistant Corps Marshal Bisi Kazeem, among others, said, Oyeyemi particularly reminded members of the public that as it has been the tradition of the FRSC during festive periods, adequate operational measures have been put in place across the country including deployments of monitors from the National Headquarters of the Corps to create safer road environment for all road travelers towards safe and smooth celebration.