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Saraki, govs, ACF, Sultan congratulate Muslims, seek prayers for peace

Leke Baiyewu and Godwin Isenyo

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki; the  Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji  Sa’ad Abubakar lll-led Jama’atu Nasril, and the Arewa Consultative Forum, have called for sustained prayers against killings and for the successful conduct of the 2019 general elections.

Saraki and Ekweremadu made the call in separate statements issued on Thursday to congratulate Muslims on the end of Ramadan and Eid-el-Fitri celebration.

Saraki, in the statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, congratulated Muslim faithful across the country.

Saraki said, “We have just ended a month-long fast thus paving the way for the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations. These two periods are such times that the Almighty Allah enjoins us to ask for His blessings. We should, therefore, use the opportunity to pray for the country and its leaders.”

The Senate President called on Nigerians to use the season to promote national integration, saying “Eid-el-Fitri is a time of love and goodwill. It gives us a message to love all and hate none.”

Ekweremadu, in the statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, urged Muslims to continue to pray for the nation, especially towards the successful conduct of the 2019 elections.

He said, “I congratulate our Muslim Umah on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast and prayers, with its life-enriching lessons in the virtues of love, forbearance, unity, patriotism and self-sacrifice.

“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.”

Also, lawmaker representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, said it was his hope that the spiritual lessons of Ramadan and the injunctions of Holy Prophet on self-denial, love, peaceful co-existence, fairness and justice would continue in Muslims’ daily life, according to the statement issued by his Media Adviser, Mr. Kayode Odunaro.

Also, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji  Sa’ad Abubakar lll-led Jama’atu Nasril, urged Nigerian Muslims to imbibe the virtues of Muslim Ramadan such as faith, sincerity, sacrifice, humility, compassion for the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians.

The JNI’s Secretary General, Dr. Abubakar Khalid-Aliyu, on behalf of the Sultan, thanked Allah for the successful completion of this year Ramadan and enjoined Muslims to imbibe lessons learnt from the exercise.

The JNI said, “The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, under the leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General, uses this medium to, once again thank Allah, the Most High for sparing our lives to have observed the acts of worshipping Him.

“Thus, the most inherent lessons embedded in Ramadan fasting such as faith, sincerity, sacrifice, humility, compassion, alms giving, piety, commitment, etc., should be sustained for our own good.

“Nigerian Muslims are therefore called upon to reflect their minds to the good virtues of the month of Ramadan and keep to its teachings all through their respective lives.”

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim-Biu, in Kaduna, said the northern group was deeply concerned by the hate speech across the country which if not handled with care, could snowball into “avoidable” conflicts ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The ACF noted that rather than the use of vulgar languages, threat and intimidation, Nigerians should embrace dialogue and forgiveness and the most civilised ways of addressing grievances.

The forum also called on the three arms of government – executive, legislature and the judiciary to shun bitterness and work harmoniously for the betterment of Nigerians.

Emphasising on the need for the growth of the nation’s democracy, the ACF noted that the efficacy of the Nigerian law to bring about the much-needed development and social justice, would depend largely on the actions or inactions of the political leaders.

The ACF reminded Muslims to imbibe the lessons from the Ramadan so as to influence their deeds in words and practice.

The group also condemned the wanton killings in the country, occasioned by the suspected herdsmen attacks in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and other parts of the country.

The northern group said, “ACF, therefore, wishes the Muslim Ummah a peaceful and Happy Eid-el-Fitri celebration and hopes that the spirit of Ramadan will continue to influence their deeds in words and practice.

“The Forum equally urges Nigerians to continue to devote themselves to prayers for our unity, peaceful coexistence and harmony as we march towards the 2019 general elections.

“Surely, the killings by insurgents and other armed bandits are crimes against humanity which all religions enjoin their followers to abhor.”

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