President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to rise above selfish interests and promote harmony and tolerance.He gave the charge yesterday in a Sallah message through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu. He urged Muslims to use the occasion for sober reflection and self-examination. They should also be good ambassadors of their religion by upholding high moral values, Buhari stressed.
"This felicitous occasion of Eid-ul-Adha is a remembrance of the submission of Prophet Ibrahim Allaihis-Salam to Allah, his Creator, by which he taught the world the value of sacrifice in relating with one another. And when it comes to nation-building, we must sacrifice for others and remember always those who are less fortunate than ourselves," the president said.
He noted that religion was a major factor in influencing human behaviour towards good conduct, regretting how selfishness and greed have pushed people to abandon their beliefs.Reiterating his campaign against corruption, he said the mission was "a task that must be done to protect the larger interests of ordinary Nigerians, who are the worst victims of diseases, poverty, malnutrition and other afflictions.
"Even if some people hate you for fighting corruption, you should not chicken out from the task as a leader because doing so is a betrayal of public trust." Buhari reassured Nigerians that the country's economic problems would soon be history because of his administration's unwavering commitment to people's welfare.He backed up the pledge by citing the Social Investment Programme (SIP) and the government's decision to distribute stolen funds to the poor.
Also, Nigeria's pilgrims in Mecca yesterday offered prayers for the successful conduct of next year's general elections and the wellbeing of the country.The session, led by Islamic scholars, was organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and performed in the local languages.
NAHCON's chairman, Abdullah Mukhtar Muhammad, commended the efforts of Saudi authorities and Nigerian officials towards a smooth pilgrimage.Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, meanwhile, called on Muslims to imbibe the spirit of love and sacrifice as they celebrate Eid-el-Kabir. In a statement by the state's commissioner for information, Muhammad Garba, he warned religious and political leaders to refrain from fanning the embers of disunity as the general elections draw near.