Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged Nigerians to team up with his administration in battling the security crisis facing the country by exposing sponsors of insecurity.
The president, in a message to mark the Eid-el-Kabir, also stressed the need for Muslims to live in harmony with Nigerians of other faiths while praying for the progress of the country.
Also in their Sallah messages, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), called on Nigerians to pray for peace, unity and development of the country.
Buhari, in the Sallah message by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, said: "Let us expose undesirable elements among us who are creating security problems for the country.
"I urge all Muslims to continue to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians of other faiths in the spirit of peaceful coexistence. Let us pray for the progress of Nigeria at all times."
Buhari reiterated the determination of his administration to create a just, harmonious and prosperous country in which the safety of lives and property is assured.
He added that the current insecurity bedeviling the country has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists.
He, however, reassured Nigerians that his administration is taking measures to address the security challenges.
"We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry," he stated.
The president also reflected on current challenges facing the country, saying that "COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria, in addition to the fact that floods have caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation."
This, he explained, has led to food inflation, which the government is working hard to address.
He added: "No government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.
"Apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable prices."
Buhari said his government was working hard on measures to bring relief to average Nigerians.
He said: "As an elected president who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people that gave us their mandate, let me assure you that we are continuing with measures to bring relief to Nigerians, including making fertiliser available at affordable prices to our farmers."
On the significance of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the president appealed to Muslims to demonstrate the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practices.
He stated that taking advantage of the celebration to exploit fellow citizens through outrageous prices of food and rams is inconsistent with tenets of Islam.
Buhari said: "As practising believers, we shouldn't seek obscene profits by making life difficult and miserable for others. We should not seek happiness at the expense of others. Remember that Islam is a religion of charity that urges us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves."
Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Tinubu, CAN, PDP, preach unity, peace, love
In his own message, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, called on all Nigerians to pray for peace, unity and development of Nigeria.
He urged Muslims and all Nigerians to be steadfast in working and praying for the peace, unity and progress of the nation.
According to him, the current challenges are painful but a passing phase in the historical process of nation-building.
He assured Nigerians that the administration of Buhari was determined to address the nation's challenges as part of the process of making the country realise its potential as a great nation.
On the legislative activities of the upper chamber, Lawan said the report of the Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution would be considered after the annual recess of the National Assembly by September.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, also called for prayers and unity of purpose among Nigerians at during Eid-el-Kabir.
The speaker said Nigerians, especially Muslims, should use the opportunity of the Eid-el-Kabir to pray for their leaders to be able to find solutions to the nation's problems.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Lanre Lasisi, urged Nigerians to conduct themselves in a patriotic manner as they have no other country to call their own other than Nigeria.
The PDP, while congratulating Muslims on this year's Eid-el-Kabir, called on citizens to use the occasion to strengthen their trust in God as the divine source of sustenance as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Ibrahim.
The party stated that Eid-el-Kabir presents the nation and humanity with boundless occasion to recommit to the virtues of selflessness, love and care for one another, especially in the face of economic, political and social challenges facing our nation.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, urged leaders at all levels of government to use the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir to show more sacrifices towards the people and pursue only those things that will improve the living conditions of Nigerians.
It said: "Our party is, however, troubled that most Nigerian families are celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir under very serious economic despair, but urged them not to surrender to despondency but to keep hope alive as we collectively work to rescue our nation.",
The National Leader of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, in a message he personally signed, urged Muslims not to forget the reason for Eid-el- Kabir.
"We commemorate an act of complete faith in Allah and His instructions unto us. Thus, lets celebrate but may we also dedicate ourselves to greater adherence and obedience to the compassionate and spiritually nourishing commands of Almighty Allah. Celebrate, yes, but let us not forget the poor and vulnerable among us.
"Reach out to give solace and succour to those unable to help themselves. Show brotherly concern and compassion to all. To be a good Muslim is to be a caring and generous human being. The challenges that we face as a nation call upon us to adhere even more closely to Allah's commands so that we may overcome these challenges and continue to build the just and prosperous society destined for us," Tinubu said.
He called for prayers for Nigeria's gallant soldiers and other security agents confronting insecurity in the country.
He also called for prayers for Buhari, governors and other leaders.
CAN also rejoiced with the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Muslims as they celebrate Eid-el-Kabir.
CAN urged them to continue to embrace the virtues of love, peace, unity, kindness and sacrifice, as exemplified by the Prophet Mohammed during and after the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
CAN, in a statement yesterday by its National General Secretary, Daramola Bade Joseph, said: "We felicitate with you for being alive to witness this day and celebrate despite the menace of insecurity challenges in the country occasioned by the criminal activities of bandits, kidnappers, terrorists, killer herdsmen and other undesirable elements.
"We, therefore, call on both the leaders and the followers of Islam to continue to embrace the virtues of love, peace, unity, kindness and sacrifice, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), during and after the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations. They should also use the occasion to pray for Nigeria to come out of these insecurity challenges better and greater."
CAN also appealed to all security agencies, especially the police and the army to rise up to the security challenges facing the country with a view to preventing criminals from attacking the innocent during and after the celebrations.