As Muslims begin the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations today following the announcement of the end of the Ramadan fasting saturday by the Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs of the Sultanate Council, Sokoto, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), state governors, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal , his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, other lawmakers and leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have been sending their goodwill messages to mark the celebration.
PDP Saturday reiterated the importance of patriotism, peaceful coexistence and a greater national consensus on matters that affect the nation's collective well-being.
A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, said that the task of ensuring peace and stability in Nigeria is not a burden for the PDP or President Goodluck Jonathan alone.
Rather, the party called on elders, leaders and opinion leaders to continue preaching the message of peace and unity amongst Nigerians.
PDP said that it was happy to observe the efforts of prominent Nigerian leaders who have been promoting efforts of government in tackling the current challenges that face the Nation.
PDP said that as Nigerians celebrate the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, it appealed to all Nigerians to hold onto the lessons of the holy month which are supplication to the almighty, sacrifice and brotherly love for one another, saying, "We cannot claim to be people of faith if our actions negate the fundamental prescriptions of our creator.."
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tambuwal, urged Muslims in the country to use the period of the Eid-el-Fitr celebration to reflect on their spiritual life as individuals and how they can contribute more meaningfully towards making Nigeria a greater nation.
In his Sallah message issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said the steadfastness and devotion shown by Muslims during the Ramadan Fast was a reflection of their service to the Almighty Allah who will reward them abundantly for their efforts.
In a separate goodwill message, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha urged Muslims to continue to pray for peace in Nigeria . Ihedioha congratulated the Muslims for embarking on the spiritual exercise, adding that fervent prayers would go a long way in complementing the efforts of government in resolving the security challenges facing the country. "The end of the Ramadan fast signals a fresh concentration to the tenets of the Almighty Allah and I believe all Muslims and indeed all Nigerians must continue to pray for Nigeria, her leaders and indeed the entire citizenry as each and every one of us has a role to play in the collective task to overcome present challenges and move our dear country forward," Ihedioha said.
Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governor's Forum, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, called for peace and unity amongst Nigerians in line with the spiritual rebirth gained by muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. In a special Ramadan message signed by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. David Iyofor, Amaechi rejoiced with all Muslims on the successful completion of the 2012 Ramadan fasting, urging them to continue to pray for peace and progress in Nigeria.
Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, in a statement yesterday, said "after successful Ramadan fasting that renew Muslims spiritually, let us be reminded about the spiritual message which this solemn feast contains and signifies for the entire human society." According to Obi, "As Eid-el-Fitr underscores love, friendship, brotherliness, charity and generosity, among other values, we are reminded of the virtues of harmonious co-existence in a diverse society like ours. Greatness will come to nations that consciously plan and work for it through consensus and confidence-building."
Acting Governor of Niger State, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, enjoined the people of Niger State to sustain the ideals of the month of Ramadan beyond the Ramadan period. Ibeto who made the call in a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Umar Borno , urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in the worship of Allah and to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as they did during the month of Ramadan.
Kaduna State governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa, called on Muslims to continue to pray for peace in the state and the nation at large, saying no development can take place in an environment where there is no peace and stability.
Speaking when he hosted media chief executives and journalists for the breaking of the Ramadan fast at the Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Kaduna on Friday, Yakowa said no society will make any meaningful progress unless the people live in peace with each other.
Bauchi State governor,Malam Isa Yuguda, commended religious leaders in the state for their prayers which have kept the state together and made it a safer place than others, urging them to continue with prayers as well as teach their adherents the need for peaceful coexistence.In a broadcast to the people of the state to mark the end of the month of Ramadan fasting, he called for exchange of food and other gifts during the festivities in the spirit of oneness and brotherhood, stressing that there was no alternative to peace.
This came as the Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, yesterday granted amnesty to 16 convicted inmates at the Sokoto Central Prison yesterday, saying the 16 inmates were granted amnesty in the spirit of Ramadan. He also donated N30,000 to each of the pardoned inmates to enable them unite with their families and celebrate the Eid-il-Fitri festivities. Wamakko said the gesture was meant to enable them start up a small scale business rather than depending on others.
He stated that the amnesty, which is in line with the powers conferred on him by section 212 of the 1999 Constitution, was granted sequel to the recommendation of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy to commemorate the Eid-il- Fitr.
Wamakko, who was represented by the state Commissioner of Justice, Alhaji Nuhu Adamu, expressed hope that the pardoned inmates would utilise the opportunity to become better citizens in moving the society forward.
He said the 13 convicted inmates with lighter sentences were granted unconditional pardon while three inmates who were convicted of culpable homicide punishable by death were commuted to life sentence.
In Oyo State, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide and a federal lawmaker representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, saturday urged Muslims not to return to the bad habits they abandoned during the month of Ramadan and sustain their prayers for the leaders.
The trio in separate Sallah messages to festive Muslims, urged them to remain committed in their duties to Allah and cast off forever habits prohibited by Allah.
However, the Kano state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) charged its Muslim counterpart to partner with it so as to foster the unity required for nation building, as well as provide a strong front that can battle the country's enemies.
"Since Ramadan fasting symbolises the period of spiritual rejuvenation, it is expected that our Muslim brothers and sisters will continue to move closer to Allah, even after the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.
Our leaders in all the tiers of government in Nigeria also deserve to be assisted with prayers so that they can lead us aright and move the country forward in all ramifications," the governor said.
In Kano, the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, called on the Muslim Ummah in the state to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and sacrifice.
Ganduje, who made the call in a sallah message issued by his Director, Press and Public Relations, Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu, appealed to Muslims in the state to emulate Prophet Muhammed's way of life, stressing that the one-month fast which muslim faithfuls had observed should be seen as a period of cleansing and atonement.
"We should emerge from the Ramadan more determined to live in the path of Allah as true believers. To emulate the exemplary attributes of Islam which are love, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence amongst the people, "he said.
In his Sallah message, former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Sardauna of Kano, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, appealed to Muslims to continue with the lesson they learnt during the Ramadan period.
He also advised people to continue with prayer for the continuation of peace and unity of the country.
Chairman of the State Chapter of CAN, Bishop Ransome Bello, in his goodwill message to Muslims over the Eid-el-fitr celebrations, maintained that only a consolidated unity between the two major religions can move the nation to greater heights. He said to achieve this, the leadership of both religions should have a platform for dialogue and other issues agitating the minds of their followers.