By Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Governor, Gombe State.
I join all Nigerians and indeed the whole world in celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir today.
As we do this, all of our citizens must be reminded of the need to celebrate with love for each other and for their country. I must also say this: as the Holy Books teach us that only truth exalts a nation, only sacrifice by the people can sustain the nation on the path of unity, peace, progress and prosperity.
Today is a day for sober reflection, especially as a result of the many challenges facing Nigeria as a nation and the harrowing personal experiences of the majority of individual citizens. However, today also calls for gratitude to Almighty Allah for the manifest promise of a better future.
The history of today’s Eid, indeed, is instructive as an occasion when Almighty Allah showed his infinite mercy and kindness to us all by producing a ram to be sacrificed instead of a human being. None of us must trifle with the Koranic (and Biblical) story of how Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) had promised to sacrifice his then only son to Almighty Allah and how, at the point of sacrifice, an all-knowing, all-powerful God, so honoured and persuaded by His servants’ faith (father and son), caused a substitution with a ram.
My compatriots, the Eid-el-Adha, another name for today’s celebration, should remind us all, therefore, that sacrifice in the form of genuine service to each other and to our nation is our only way to redemption.
God’s favour will only come to us when we make individual and collective sacrifice to serve our people. Prosperity, peace and progress will be the portion of Nigerians when we all make sacrifices for our nation. God’s mercy will attend unto us only when we are unceasing in sacrifice.
Today should, therefore, be a wake-up call to all Nigerians that Almighty Allah will shower His mercies and blessings on us if only we would obey Him and serve in truth and in deed.
All Nigerians, irrespective of tongue, tribe or religion must therefore imbibe these lessons of Eid-el-Kabir.
Poverty in the midst of so much blessings, intolerance of each other on account of religion, bigotry on account of tongue or creed, crimes of all shades, corruption in high places and the flight of conscience that is fast becoming a Nigerian signature in different forms would cease once we embrace love as Almighty Allah teaches us.
Those of us in leadership positions at any level must use this occasion to attune our minds to the fear of God and love of the people in whose trust we hold our various offices.
We must constantly remind ourselves that our joy as leaders and the joy of our people can only be guaranteed at the point of sacrifice.
Barka da Sallah