Eid-el Maulud: Northern governors preach inter-religious harmony





Muslim Community across the world marked Eid-el-Maulud Nabyyi (birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad), with the northern governors calling on Mulslim faithful to emulate the teachings and virtues of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W).

 Chairman Northern Governors Forum (NGF) and Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong gave the charge in a message in a statement by his  director of press, Dr Makut Macham.

The NGF said: “The special occasion brings to remembrance the teachings of the Holy Prophet who emphasized love, forgiveness, peaceful coexistence and humility among others. 

“The failure of humanity to practice love is what has given rise to selfishness, violence, intolerance, religious bigotry, ethnic hatred, corruption, high crime rate and unimaginable level of wickedness that is prevalent in various forms.”  

He added that the celebration should be used as a moment for reflection and reconsideration of the fortunes of the nation, which the governors believed “can be changed if all Muslims live their lives according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as contained in the Holy Qur’an.” 

 Lalong said “Nigeria  in dire need of inter-religious harmony and dialogue, practical faith based conduct as well as truthful lifestyles that unite people and enhances their ability to experience and share love with one another irrespective of their faiths, education, economic status and ethnicity.” 

While wishing the Muslim community a successful celebration, Governor Lalong assured that “the Northern Governors Forum will continue to work hard in promoting peace, tolerance, national unity and religious harmony particularly in the present circumstances where the nation is in need of a common front to overcome, corruption, insurgency, fight poverty and accelerate development.”

 Cleric urges job creation

Also,  a renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Khalifah Aliyu Ahmad Abulfatahi, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle poverty and related suffering confronting the Nigerian masses.

The Islamic scholar also called on the federal government to create job opportunities  for the teeming unemployed youths who have graduated and  roaming the streets in search of jobs.

Sheikh Abdulfatahi made the plea while addressing a mammoth crowd of faithful from far and near  that converged on  the Madinatu Jummaat Central  Mosque, Maiduguri, Borno state to celebrate the event.

At the event were Muslim faithful from Sudan, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Morrocco, Mauritania, Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

And from within the country, attendees came from Lagos, Oyo, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Yobe, Jigawa  and Benue states among others.

The occasion was organised by  Sheikh Ahmadu Aliyu Abulfatahi  Foundation.

Addressing the gathering, Sheikh Abdulfatahi said the event was to serve as remember of the prophet’s struggles, efforts, teachings, sacrifices and propagation of Islam.

He said it  was  also to celebrate the successes recorded so far, especially “on how Islam is being widely accepted as a religion of peace and unity, expanded and developed the Muslim community worldwide in unity and diversity of all races, tribes, origins, riches, poverty and knowledge.”

The gathering prayed for peace, unity and stability of the country, particularly, a quick return of permanent peace and harmony to Borno state and north-east region as well as the country as a whole.

Abdulfattahi also urged “Nigerian leaders to continue to be honest, have the fear of God in their dealings and carry their subjects along by way of fulfilling their electioneering campaign promises and  providing for the less privileged or needles in the society.”

“Assisting the needy or providing succour to the poor or less privileged in the society is very rewarding and God is always with those who help others among them especially, the poor,” the cleric said,

He also called on Muslims to emulate the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), his successors and descendents.

He thanked Borno state Governor Babagana Umara Zulum  and other Mulsim faithful that attended the event.

 MMWG

Also, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) tasked Nigeria leaders to do things right all times for the nation’s prosperity.

In its message to mark the Eid el- Maulud, the group stated that “the exemplary character of the Holy Prophet made him an outstanding Leader during his own time and his integrity earned him large followership in the Communities where he never lived before that is – Madinah and in Makkah –  where he was earlier driven out.”

The group said “his triumphant entry back to Makkah was a significant turning-point which all followers and leaders must underscore that – with good leadership and followership – a Nation could reach the greater heights in no distant time.”

In a statement by its National Coordinator Abdullahi Ibrahim and  made available to journalists Tuesday, the MMWG observed that ” few Nigerian Leaders have discipline and integrity.”  

This, he said, “was responsible for bad governance leading to unfulfilled promises to the electorates, corruption, lack of strong legal backing to stem insecurity, immorality and underdevelopment in areas of economy, health, education and provision of social infrastructures.”

The statement called on Nigerians “to be selective in the choice of their Representatives and Leaders to be voted for come 2023 Elections, otherwise their situation would not change if credible Leaders and Representatives are not chosen.”

“The Media Watch Group commended President Muhammad Buhari on his achievements in areas of infrastructural development so far – stating that the decay in the Nation’s infrastructure was massive due to corruption of the past adding that that is why his giant strides in the area is being under-estimated.

“On corruption, the Group called on President Buhari to step up his anti-corruption fight, especially on creation of special courts to deal with all the outstanding anti-corruption cases and other economic crimes. It also commended the President on his efforts in seeking global support on fighting insecurity and rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.

“MMWG stated that celebration of Birthday of Prophet Muhammad would of be no value to Muslims who jettison his ideals of religious commitment, tolerance of the people of other faiths and building of egalitarian Society where welfare of the less-privileged is prioritised.”

 ‘Better tomorrow awaits Nigeria’

In a similar message, Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content Teslim Folarin surged Nigerians to be hopeful of a better tomorrow for the country  . 

Senator Folarin, who represents Oyo Central Senatorial District, stated this in his message to felicitate with Muslim faithful on this year’s celebration of the birthday of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

 He stressed that for the better tomorrow, the time has come for Muslim Ummah in and across the country to pray for Nigeria to overcome the current economic crisis in the land.

 In the message made available by his special adviser on media and publicity, Comrade  YSO Olaniyi, the lawmaker said “the life and times of Holy Prophet Muhammed (SAW) were replete  with lessons of sacrifice, service and humility. The virtues of service and exemplary leadership, as demonstrated by the Holy Prophet, should guide Nigerian leaders to give their all in the overall interest of Nigerians.”.

While wishing all Muslims a happy celebration, the lawmaker reiterated his pledge to continue providing qualitative representation and meaningful dividends of democracy to his constituents and the state at large.

PDP urges rebirth  

 In a related message, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  urged Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Eid-el Maulud for solemn introspection and make commitment towards a rebirth in all areas of national life.

PDP National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan  said this in a statement in Abuja Tuesday.

He said:  “Eid el-Maulud, the celebration of the birth of Holy Prophet Mohammed, presents a providential occasion for our nation to put behind, all issues that cause disunity, disaffection, strife and despondency and move to a new beginning by embracing the virtues of love for one another, tolerance, mutual understanding and forgiveness, in line with the teaching of the Holy Prophet.”

 “Our party urges Nigerians to resist all forces that seek to disunite them for selfish reasons and continue to work together, especially in their determination to and chart a new course for our dear nation on the platform of the PDP.

 “The PDP also calls on Nigerians to use the occasion to make fervent supplication to God for divine intervention as well as show love by reaching out to one another, especially the less privileged and victims of escalated acts of terrorism in our country. 

 “The party also urges those behind the mindless killings and acts of terrorism in our country to have a rethink and retrace their steps, while charging those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing our nation at this critical time. 

 “The PDP felicitates with Nigerians and wishes them a happy Eid-el Maulud celebration,” the party said.

 APC

Meanwhile, a voluntary think-tank group of the All Progressives Congress, known as APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign (APC-LAC) has said the Muhammadu  Buhari-led   was backing  efficiency and transparency in the management of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources with action.

 The group added that the president would not slow down or relent on efforts to transform the NNPC.

Leaders of the group; Barr. Ismail Ahmed, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Tolu Ogunlesi and Salihu Moh. Lukman, said this in a statement Tuesday  in Abuja.

 “The President’s promise to bring long overdue efficiency and transparency to the management of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources is being backed by action. And the journey has only just started. President Buhari will not slow down or relent in his NNPC reform efforts. 

“One of the many transformational legacies that will be associated with his administration will be the rebirth of the National Oil Company, and a repositioning that will set it on the path to becoming a world-class institution,” they said.  

The statement listed some of the achievements of the APC-led administration to include: “Published Audited Financial Statements for 2018, 2019 and 2020. This is the first published Audited Financial Statements since the NNPC came into existence 43 years ago. 

“Commenced clearing the backlog of Cash Call arrears owed International Oil Companies (IOCs), inherited from previous administrations, and amounting to more than five billion dollars.

“Completed the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) Phase 2, doubling its capacity to 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas.

“Commenced construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas pipeline, Nigeria’s biggest-ever domestic gas pipeline project. 

“Commenced the total revamp of the Port Harcourt refinery – yet another industry jinx being broken. 

 “Resolved a 12-year-old dispute surrounding (Oil Mining License) OML 118, unlocking more than $10 billion of potential investment held up by the dispute,” among others.

“The crowning achievement has been the presidential assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), after two decades of unsuccessful attempts. With the emergence of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), a new chapter has definitely commenced in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

“New industry regulatory agencies have been established, to provide the necessary oversight befitting the new status quo, and the President has received National Assembly approval for his nominees to the management teams of these new agencies. It is truly a new dawn for oil and gas in Nigeria,” it said.