Leadership (Abuja)

19 August 2012

Nigeria: Eid Mubarak and Peace Be Unto Nigeria

Today, Muslims world over celebrate Eid-el Fitr to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting. The Eid- el-fitr marks the end of a rigorous spiritual devotion to the all mighty, the creator of the heavens and earth and all therein.

It is a period exceptionally marked by goodness. Goodness as reported from Ali bin Ali Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) is not in ones wealth and number of offspring; true goodness is in recognition of good deeds accompanied by great understanding and forbearance not just in haste to worship but in ones relationships with his neighbours from all walks of life.

The joyous days of celebration after the fasting period are usually elaborate, involving giving of charity to those known to be in need in addition to celebrating with family and friends; exchange of gifts, well-wishes, and congratulatory messages, etc.

In Nigeria, like in other countries Muslims are today celebrating the great day. But in our case it shall be low keyed not just because of the economic hardship but mainly due to the insecurity in the land. We have been forced by this senseless and avoidable circumstance to suspend in some places in the North in particular, the colourful display of culture and traditions that accompany the Eid celebrations.

These entertaining celebrations usually attract people from all parts of the world and the locals in particular look forward to it. It is a source of hope and something to hold on to given the grim assault on our history by all sorts of competing negatives.

They are symbolic no matter what. The pomp and pageantry, and the grandeur are just awesome, but all these are being put on hold this year all because of the tragic failure of government to act decisively and show leadership. The people are left to quake in constant fear and humiliation by some misinformed elements.

So, while we join our Muslim brothers and sisters in celebrating this joyous occasion, we call on all Muslims and Nigerians as a whole to fervently pray for peace and tranquility to reign in the country as they troop to the various Eid praying grounds to offer supplications to Almighty Allah.

Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic or creed differences need to embrace the spirit of forgiveness, trust, patience, and oneness and accommodation of our various differences in order to enable the nation move to the next level of development. No amount of sacrifice on the part of all Nigerians is too much to keep the nation in peace; we must keep this nation one and not give in to those voices of discordance.

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