By Sanni Onogu, Abuja
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday felicitated with all Nigerians and in particular the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of this year’s Eid El Kabir.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senators Ajibola Basiru and Solomon Adeola also expressed solidarity with the Muslim faithful.
On his part, the Director General of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, urged Muslims not to forget the purpose of the occasion, which is to commemorate the trials and triumphs of Prophet Ibrahim.
Lawan in a statement in Abuja, noted that Eid El Kabir, Islam’s feast of sacrifice, is very significant to the Islamic faith “as it reminds us of the imperative of unconditional obedience to Allah, the Most Merciful.”
He added: “Through total submission to His will, we can confidently confront our challenges as individuals and as a nation, assured that Allah will intervene decisively at the most appropriate moment.
“As people of faith, therefore, let us continue to seek the face of the Almighty in our various national wars, be they against insecurity or the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we strive to make Nigeria a comfortable home for all its citizens.
“As we celebrate the feast of sacrifice with worship, I enjoin us to be mindful of the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic and adhere strictly to the safety protocols prescribed by our public health authorities.
“The National Assembly is collaborating with the Executive in responding to the pandemic as it affects our economy and general public system.
“Those of us in leadership positions must continue to be aware of our covenant of service with the Nigerian people.
“On our part as your elected representatives and lawmakers, we pledge to always respect your trust and serve your best interests.
“In this regard, the National Assembly in the past one year has passed many bills and resolutions and conducted many public hearings to strengthen the operations of government and enhance public service delivery.
“We shall continue on the same path and are confident of making the desired impacts, with your understanding and invaluable support.
“While wishing you all a happy festival, I again urge us to celebrate responsibly, in line with the general dictates of our faith and in the spirit of the august occasion,”
Omo-Agege in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, noted that even though prevailing circumstances have continued to challenge the faith of many across the world, Nigerian Muslims have continued to demonstrate deep faith as the country moves towards overcoming various obstacles to its development.
He called for celebrations that must necessarily include cautiousness about the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, adding that there is hope for humanity to prevail over the disease as well as other challenges that continue to ravage countries across the world.
The Senator also emphasized the significance of having a strong belief in God’s word, adding that as Muslims across the world come together to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, it is an opportunity for Christians to celebrate with their compatriots.
Omo-Agege said: “Eid el-Kabir or Eid al-Adha is another name for the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, also called the “Sacrifice Feast” or “Bakr-Eid”; it honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his only son, Isma’il (Ishmail) as an act of submission to God’s command.
“God intervened through His angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) and informs him that his sacrifice has already been accepted. Today, our collective faith brings us all closer towards God’s intervention in the current progressive administration’s efforts to overcome various challenges and realise a better Nigeria for us all.
“I commend the police and other security agencies for making adequate preparations towards ensuring hitch-free Sallah celebrations across Nigeria.
“In view of subsisting COVID-19 guidelines, it has become even more necessary for all of us to ensure strict adherence to health and safety rules in our various religious places of worship and prayers.
“Once more, I felicitate with our dear Muslim brothers and sisters as they renew their faith in the preeminence of Almighty Allah through celebration of Eid-el-Kabir.”
Ekweremadu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, urged Muslims to pray for the peace, unity, and security of the nation.
This was even as he called on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to end the killings in the country, warning that Nigeria was fast becoming a killing field.
Ekweremadu said: “I felicitate with our Muslim brothers and sisters on this occasion of Eid-El-Kabir. The occasion calls for rededication to the fine principles of sacrifice, justice, and equity as exemplified by the Prophet and without which no nation can ever make progress.
“It is also not lost on us that this is a very dire time for Nigeria, as our Muslim brethren and the nation celebrate Sallah in a state of grave apprehension, with many of them displaced by the worsening insecurity. This Sallah, therefore, serves as an opportunity to offer special prayers for the peace, unity, prosperity, and security of our country.
“I equally call on the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, to take every necessary and urgent step to arrest this parlous situation where Boko Haram and allied insurgents, bandits, criminal aliens, kidnappers, and all manners of predatory elements have field days killing civilians and even men of the armed forces alike without corresponding or greater consequences”, he said.
Ekweremadu wished the Nigerians a happy Salah celebration, charging them also to stay safe, observing the protocols and guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Senator Basiru (Osun Central), enjoined Muslims to be cautious of the fact that the ravaging COVID-19 is still much around as they celebrate Eidul Adh’a.
Basiru, who is the spokesperson of the Senate, felicitated with the Muslim World and particularly his constituents on this year’s Eid el Kabir.
He reminded the people that the big Islamic celebration teaches piety, patience and endurance and called on Muslims to let the lessons reflect in their daily activities.
He said: “With patience and endurance, whatever we beseech Allah for will be done, and with the two virtues combined with piety, Nigeria will scale hurdles in all spheres of development.
“As Muslims, we must always remember that Islam emphasizes cleanliness and hygiene, therefore, as we rejoice in this festive season, we should follow strictly all safety regulations to keep Coronavirus at bay.”
He assured his constituents that he would continue to be at their beck and call and prayed for the success of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at all levels of governance.
On his part, Senator Adeola (Lagos West), in a statement by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, enjoined all Muslim faithful in his senatorial district and Nigerians all over the nation to pray for security in Nigeria as well as the end of the global scourge of COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that a strict adherence to the teachings of Islam in the areas of love, brotherliness, piety, peaceful coexistence as well as tolerance will greatly assist in promoting security of lives and property.
He added that all should pray in their private homes for sustainable solution to the coronavirus disease ravaging the world.
The Lagos West lawmaker said he would continue to represent his constituents by ensuring that they continue to enjoy benefits from government in terms of projects addressing the challenges of the district like provision of water, electric transformers and street lights.
He added that he will soon embark on massive empowerment to alleviate poverty for some of his constituents in need after the COVID-19 lockdown and its negative effects.
He urged Muslims to imbibe all safety measures and precautionary protocols against COVID-19 as they celebrate the festival and afterwards.
He urged them to shun social vices which are not only detrimental to individual well-being on the long run but harm the society in various ways.
Professor Sulaiman said: “This is especially so considering that we are living in unprecedented and challenging times, which call for us to remember our shared heritage and the need to be guided by the spirit of unwavering confidence, faith and hope as we grapple with the daunting challenges that bedevil us as a nation.
“Even though this year’s celebration will be different as necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic currently being experienced across the globe, let us endeavor to extend a helping hand and practice the virtues of sacrifice, peaceful coexistence and tolerance.
“It is important to at this time, appreciate health workers, researchers, leaders and stakeholders the world over, who are working tirelessly to save lives and provide solutions to stem the tide of the pandemic.
“Their service is a testament of the fact that our oneness, brotherliness and togetherness as a nation comes first, irrespective of ethnicity and religious affiliation.
“As Muslim faithful across the world celebrate the solemn festivities of Eid, I congratulate and wish you all Eid Mubarak; and may Allah accept our sacrifices.”
Source: The Street Journal
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