President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has congratulated Muslim faithful across the country on the successful completion of the month-long Ramadan fast and called for sustained prayers for peace in the country.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, to commemorate the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations, the President of the Senate said in spite of Federal Government’s appreciable efforts in combating the challenge of insecurity, it is imperative for Muslim faithful to utilise this period to pray fervently for peace and unity in the country.
“We have just ended a month long fast thus paving way for the Eid-el-fitr celebrations. These two periods are such times that the Almighty Allah enjoined us to ask for his blessings. We should therefore seize the opportunity to pray for the country and its leaders,” Saraki said.
Saraki called on Nigerians to use the season to promote national integration, saying “Eid-el-fitr is a time of love and goodwill. It gives us a message to love all and hate none.”
He said despite numerous challenges in the country, ‘’hope is not lost”, adding that, “only tolerance, stronger sense of patriotism and love for one another will help the country surmount her present socio-economic challenges.”
House Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, called on the Ummah not to be carried away by only the pageantry of the Sallah celebration, but to use the occasion for sober reflection and extend gestures and hands of support to the needy in the society as well as to pray against the current security and economic situation of the country.
He emphasized the importance of peace, unity and tolerance amongst the diverse people of the country for the envisaged growth and development to take place, noting that the heterogeneity of Nigeria should be a source of strength rather than conflict.
“As you join the rest of the Ummah all over the world to celebrate this year’s Eid el-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, I enjoin you to replicate and demonstrate in your daily lives the lessons and virtues of sacrifice, forgiveness, piety, self denial and genuine love towards one another which you learnt during the month- long fast”.
“This is indeed another moment of celebration and sober reflection. And apart from reflection, I urge you to also take out opportunity, cashing on the spirituality of this festive period to offer special prayers for the nation against the backdrop of the current security and economic situation and to lift up our people before God, especially the downtrodden- those Who struggle to make ends meet as well as the leadership of this country- from Mr. President, the Vice President, the Leadership of the National Assembly, the Governors down to Local Government Chairmen and councillors for God to grant us wisdom and give us understanding and for Him to open up doors of opportunity so that we will be able to meet the expectations of the people”.
While pledging the commitment of the House of Representatives to initiating legislative interventions to overcome the many challenges in the country, Dogara used the occasion to urge Nigerians, irrespective of their persuasions to cement the bond of unity and brotherhood as a people of common destiny and contribute meaningfully in the quest for building a peaceful and united country.
In addition to congratulating the Muslim Ummah, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, urged the Ummah to continue to pray for the nation, especially towards the successful conduct of the 2019 general elections.
He also enjoined Muslim faithfuls to remain true to the teachings of Islam imbibed during the fast even after the holy month.
His spokesman, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, in a statement, quoted him as saying: “I congratulate our Muslim Umah for successfully observing the Ramadan Fast and prayers, with its life-enriching lessons in the virtues of love, forbearance, unity, patriotism, self-sacrifice.
“In the last one month, I observed the piety and the spirit of giving associated with the month and, therefore, urge our Muslim bothers and sisters to remain their brother’s keeper till eternity so as to make the society better for it.
“I urge them to continue in a life of prayers for the nation. Being the last Ramadan before the 2019 general elections, I urge our Muslim brethren and indeed all Nigerians to continue to pray for the peaceful and successful conduct of the elections”.