As Nigerian Muslims join their counterparts all over the world to celebrate Eid-el-Fitr, some political leaders have in their messages of felicitation underscored the need to continue in the spirit of sacrifice, peace, love and unity which they exhibited during the period of the 30-day Ramadan fast. Delta Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, urged Muslim faithful in Delta State in particular, and Nigeria in general to extend the spiritual benefits of Ramadan, which are love, peace and justice to their daily living, and through this, contribute to the development of the nation.
Okowa, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, observed that this year’s celebration was coming at a time when the world was plagued by Coronavirus pandemic and thanked them for their sacrifices and prayers for the nation and their decision to celebrate in their homes because of the prevailing pandemic. The governor said the importance of respecting the faith and belief of all Nigerians as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria could not be over-emphasized and charged all Muslim faithful and Nigerians to use the celebration for sober reflection and pray for peace, unity and progress of the nation.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I extend our warmest wishes to Muslims celebrating Eid-el-Fitr in Delta, Nigeria and around the world. I congratulate all our countrymen and women who have successfully undertaken the month-long Ramadan fasting.
As we celebrate Eid-el-Fitr, it is my hope and prayer that Ramadan’s spiritual lessons and the Holy Prophet’s teachings of piety, love, justice, fairness, equity, peaceful co-existence with others, tolerance, honesty and dedication to duty will remain with us all for the benefit and greater glory of our dear nation”.
According to the governor, “You are celebrating this year’s Eid-el-Fitr in an unusual atmosphere because of the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the nations of the world. We commend your courage and sacrifices in agreeing to celebrate and pray from your various homes as directed by his eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar. May the lessons and blessings of the Holy Month also permeate into us all and positively influence our attitudes towards our fellow countrymen and women, irrespective of religion or place of origin, and promote greater commitment to the peace, unity and stability of the nation”.
Okowa hoped that “the spiritual journey and celebration would bring joy to all of your homes, both here in Delta, Nigeria and around the world”.
In his message, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, said “On behalf of the Government and people of Edo State, I felicitate with our Muslim faithful on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr after completion of the Ramadan fast, a major pillar of Islam. It is impressive that the Ramadan fast was observed most devotedly amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the relevant government regulations observed by the Muslim faithful in the state”.
According to the governor, “The Holy month of Ramadan is an opportunity for our Muslim brothers and sisters to deepen their relationship with Allah, promote a life of sacrifice, charity and love for one another. There is no better time to show love and togetherness than now when we are joining forces in battling a common enemy. This is why it is remarkable that the bond among our people grew amid these very difficult times.”
Noting that his administration was committed to promoting peaceful co-existence in the state, Obaseki urged all Muslims in Edo State to sustain these values even after the Holy month to build a prosperous and peaceful state where everyone can actualise their dreams.
On his part, a governorship aspirant in the state, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, rejoiced with Muslims as they marked another Eid-el-Fitr under “a precarious time as the world witnesses a plague of novel quality”. Ize-Iyamu who is jostling for the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC with six other aspirants, congratulated Muslims for the successful “30-day thorough dedication through fasting, praying, and good fellowship unto Allah and humanity”. He said the period called for act of charity.
In a statement, the pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, and former secretary to the state government, SSG, said “Today, the Islamic faith marks one of its most iconic rites. It is a day that ends the 30-day thorough dedication through fasting, praying, and good fellowship unto Allah and humanity. Today is the day of Ramadan. Ramadan is a time when Muslims come together in celebration, but equally through acts of charity, devotion, and goodwill. And it is not only the Muslims of our state, Edo, or of our country, Nigeria; rather for all Muslims across the globe. It provides an opportunity of love where people of diverse faith commemorate together, and through joyful conversations, deliberate over our shared values and common vision”.
Ize-Iyamu posited that this year’s Ramadan may have come “in a precarious time as the world witnesses a plague of novel quality” adding that it is however “in moments of such tribulation and common challenge on humanity that our faiths serve us better, leading us into reflections on the character, quality, and attitude of our services unto each other and unto our nation”.
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