Some important Nigerian leaders have felicitated Muslims over the celebration of Eid-el- Kabir festival marked across the globe.
The Federal Government had declared Tuesday, July 20 and Wednesday, July 21 public holidays to mark the festival.
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Muslims, saying that flood and insecurity caused the increase in rams, cows, and other food prices.
In his message, Buhari restated the determination of his administration to create a just, harmonious and prosperous country in which the safety of life and property is assured.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Eid-el-Kabir: President Buhari extols the sacrifices of Nigerians, urges patience as government addresses hardships’.
The statement read in part, “Reflecting on current challenges facing the country, the President states that COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria, in addition to the fact that floods have caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.
“This, he explains, has led to food inflation which the government is working hard to address.
“Bo government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.
“Apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable prices.
“As an elected president who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people that gave us their mandate, let me assure you that we are continuing with measures to bring relief to Nigerians, including making fertilizer available at affordable prices to our farmers.”
The President also noted that the current insecurity in the country “has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists.
“Let me also use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we are taking measures to address our security challenges. We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry.”
Speaking on the significance of the Eid El-Kabir celebration, the President appeals to Muslims “to demonstrate the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practices:
“As practising believers, we shouldn’t seek obscene profits by making life difficult and miserable for others. We should not seek happiness at the expense of others. Remember that Islam is a religion of charity that urges us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
“I urge all Muslims to continue to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians of other faiths in the spirit of peaceful coexistence. Let us pray for the progress of Nigeria at all times. Let us expose undesirable elements among us who are creating security problems for the country.
Senate President Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and across the globe, saying that all must thank the Almighty Allah for the privilege, regardless of our circumstances.
Lawan said the best way to demonstrate gratitude to Allah is to “share His blessings with our neighbours and show love and kindness to all, as taught us by Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW).”
He also urged the Muslim faithful and all Nigerians to pray for the peace, unity and progress of the nation.
“The current challenges are painful, but this is a passing phase in our historical process of nation building.
“The Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined that we get the challenges behind us and steady our nation’s march to its manifest destiny of greatness.
“The ninth Senate and entire National Assembly will continue to facilitate the legislative environment needed for the success of all the efforts at the public and private sectors targeted at the security, peace and prosperity of Nigeria,” he said.
The Senate president restated the commitment to National Assembly to the Legislative Agenda as set out shortly after the inauguration of the Assembly in 2019.
Dr Lawan said: “I am proud that we have kept faith with our promises, as contained in that Agenda, to the Nigerian people as their parliament.
“The promises kept include passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that had lingered for close to two decades. We finally broke that jinx.
“We have also passed the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill to further strengthen and enhance the integrity of our electoral processes.
“We believe the two critical legislations will positively impact our economy and democracy.
“Even before we passed the Electoral Act 2020 Amendment Bill, we had passed the Electoral Offences Commission Bill to check these offences.”
He also acknowledged the hard work the Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution is doing to get its report ready for consideration as soon as the Assembly resumes from its current vacation.
“We hope to consider the report this year before considering the 2022 Appropriation Bill and transmit the outcome to the state Houses of Assembly for their consideration,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the new Constitution that will emerge from this exercise will substantially address all the areas of genuine concerns to patriotic Nigerians.
“We are also committed to nurturing the tradition that we started of timely consideration of the budget by ensuring that the 2022 Appropriation Bill is passed by December so that the budget will continue to be implemented within the January to December cycle.
“This however requires the cooperation of the Executive in presenting the estimates to the National Assembly on time.
“Already, we have received the proposals on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Plan (MTEF/FSP 2022-2024) which provides the basis for the 2022 Budget estimates.
“We will definitely accord it expeditious consideration on our return from the recess.”
He enjoined all to continue adhering to the COVID-19 protocols so as to protect the society at large against the virus.
Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has urged Muslims to exhibit peace, mutual respect and tolerance as they celebrate the Eid-el Kabir.
Mr Abubakar, who stated this in a statement on Monday, asked them to remember that the season is one to give thanks to the Almighty God “for sparing our lives as individuals and families to celebrate.”
According to him, “Eid-el-Kabir teaches and reminds us of the meaning of sacrifice, love, and forbearance with God and in our relationships with one another.
“As Muslims more especially, Eid-el-Kabir and the stories of Prophets Ibrahim and Ishmael (Peace and Blessings of Allah be with them) that accompany it requires that we take the whole of humanity as one nation,” he wrote in a statement personally signed by him.
Aside Mr Abubakar, leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have felicitated with the Muslim faithful on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
In his message, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, called for prayers and unity of purpose among Nigerians at this period of Eid-el-Kabir.
Mr Gbajabiamila, in a statement signed by his media aide, Lanre Lasisi, in Abuja on Monday, urged Nigerians to conduct themselves in a patriotic manner as they do not have another country apart from Nigeria.
He urged Muslims to use the opportunity of the Eid-el-Kabir to pray for their leaders to be able to find solutions to the nation’s problems.
He called on Muslims to imbibe the habit of sacrifice and love for one another as characterised by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).