State governors have called on Muslims to use the occasion of the Eid-el-Maulud to reflect on the virtues of love, tolerance and compassion as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed and learn to live in peace with others.
The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong in a statement on Thursday called for sober reflection among Nigerians, pointing out that the current situation in the country calls for patience, understanding, honesty, sincerity, kindness and collaboration in order to overcome.
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Lalong noted that the forum will continue to seek the prayers of all Nigerians for wisdom and guidance in order to enable them to serve the people with the best intentions and visionary programmes.
According to him, with prayers, poverty can be alleviated and people’s living conditions will be improved.
The governor called for calm from events of the recent past, assuring that the government is doing all that is necessary to address the issues raised by Nigerian youths.
He appealed to the youths to resist the temptation of engaging in destruction properties, which only retards development.
Gombe State Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, in his goodwill message, called on the Muslim faithful to imbibe the spirit of tolerance, humility, modesty and generosity as exemplified by the life and times of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
He admonished both leaders and the led to use the occasion to draw lessons and inspiration from the virtues of service, sacrifice, peaceful co-existence and exemplary leadership of the prophet and give their best for the overall peace, unity, development and prosperity of the society.
Yahaya also sued for continued prayers for the peace, wellbeing and prosperity of the state and the nation at large.
He stressed the need for mutual understanding among the diverse people of the state, urging them to continue to be law abiding and guard jealously the relative peace and tranquility in the state by shunning acts capable of jeopardizing same.
In Abia State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, in a message of goodwill to all adherents of the Islamic faith in Abia State sued for peaceful coexistence amongst the diverse ethnic and religious groups in the state, and specifically charges Moslems from Abia State to sustain the peace that has defined life in the State.
Governor Ikpeazu urges Moslems in the state to see this event as a platform for spiritual renewal and to pray for calm and peace in Abia State, especially in the aftermath of the violent protests of the last couple of days.
The governor reaffirms the commitment of his administration to be relentless in the pursuit of a conducive environment for everyone to pursue his legitimate undertakings and practice his religion without any fear of molestation.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State also urged Muslims to emulate the virtue and the teaching of tolerance and peace of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W), saying this was a time for thorough soul-searching so as to fall back to his teachings of good neighbourliness.
He urged Muslim faithful to show love and tolerance as enshrined in Islam.
He also encouraged Muslims to work for unity and progress in society, just as the Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) would, urging them to be good neighbours and ambassadors of change.
In the South West, Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola said the celebration provides an avenue for Muslims to extol and reflect on the virtues of Prophet Muhammad, who he said was sent by Allah as a mercy to mankind.
The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan on Thursday said the best way Muslims can celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is to emulate his remarkable character and virtues.
He also urged Muslims and all Nigerians to use this occasion to pray for the peace, progress and development of the country.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State also joined his colleagues to urge the Muslim faithful to use the occasion of Eid-El-Maulud to pray for peace and unity of Nigeria, particularly now that EndSARS protests are rocking parts of the country.
The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase noted that what Nigeria needs at this time is justice, fairness, equity and an end to impunity, beginning from leaders to the led.
He expressed optimism that the country will overcome its current challenges if the right measures are taken to address the people’s yearnings.
Ortom assured Benue people that the state government will sustain its collaboration with security agencies to guarantee the safety of lives and property as he thanked youths in the state for their conduct during the EndSARS protest in the state, which he said was devoid of violence and acrimony.
Yobe state Governor, Mai Mala Buni also urged the people to use the period to reflect on the unity of Nigeria, peaceful coexistence and good neighbourliness.
“The recent events that bedevilled the country are both regrettable and condemnable when lawlessness was exhibited with impunity,” he said.
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, appealed for sober reflection and self-evaluation by all “with a view to knowing how well we relate with our Creator and fellow human beings during the last one year and make amends where necessary.”
He advised the people of the state to bury their ethnic, religious, regional or political differences and continue to live in peace and harmony with one another.
‘Give listening ears to citizens’ demands’
Aside from the governor, the leader of the Tijjaniyaah Sect in Africa, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi enjoined leaders at all level to give a listening ear to the legitimate demands of its citizens and called on the citizens and protesters to shun all manners of social disturbances that may lead to anarchy and seek the path of dialogue on their demands.
He warned all citizens that protests and any civil unrest destroy the relative peace enjoyed in the country.
“The government has ears and at the same time eyes and it heard and sees what her citizen’s demands in terms of economic hardship, insecurity and unemployment. We want the government to follow the path of peace with her citizens and not to use force on its citizens, because a burning flame is never quenched with another flame, but with water,” he added.
Similarly, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, has urged Muslims to “revive the teachings of the Prophet by preaching peace wherever we find ourselves. Maulud is not only for merrymaking but also a time to emulate what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), was sent by the Almighty God to come and do.”
He urged the Muslim faithful to learn how to forgive, stressing, “Allah Himself forgives” and urged them to be prayerful, saying that, prayer was key to overcoming any situation in which they found themselves.
The traditional ruler also urged Muslims to shun acts capable of tarnishing the image of Islam.
The royal father charged Muslims to seize the opportunity to offer special prayers for the unity, progress and prosperity of Nigeria and for the country to overcome its recurring myriad of challenges as we march into the New Year.