Nigeria needs sacrificing citizens to fulfill dreams – Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said Nigeria needed sacrificing citizens to fulfill the dreams of its founding fathers.

Tinubu made the remark Sunday while addressing newsmen after observing the 2024 Eid-el-Adha prayers at Dodan Barracks, Lagos, where he emphasised the need for the people to follow the path of sacrifice to make the nation great.

“Being a very good citizen comes with responsibility.  As citizens, what do you do to be a very committed member of our society? Go and sacrifice. Love your country, love your neighbours, share what you have with one another and be thankful to Almighty God. That’s all,” said the president.

Earlier, while addressing the worshippers, Lagos state deputy governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, harped on perseverance and patience.

Hamzat enjoined the Muslim faithful to understand the reason for Eid, which he described as sacrifice and endurance.

He appealed to Nigerians to sustain the peace in the country and do what is right for themselves and their neighbours.

“I urge you all to live in peace and harmony. Be patient and persevere in order to enjoy the good of the land.

“Also, let us be good Muslims and good citizens of Nigeria. This is what almighty Allah expects of us.

“I pray that we continue to celebrate in one peace and that Nigeria continues to progress,” he said.

…Message from Chief Imam

Delivering the Eid-el-Adha message, Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Suleiman Abou-Nolla, who made reference to the Qur’an chapter 3 verse 102, said all believers should fear God as He should be

He said all believers must not die except as a Muslim in total submission to Allah.

Abou-Nolla said all the prophets of God sent to mankind with their messages from Adam to Noah, to Ibrahim, Issah and Mohammed (S.A.W.) came with the message of sacrifice.

According to him, it is all about service to their God and humanity.

He recalled that former Nigerian leaders from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, MKO Abiola, Madam Funmilayo Ransom-Kuti and others, sacrificed their knowledge, wealth, sweat that led to the growth and development of the country.

“All their activities and actions were passionate and geared toward nation-building; we must, therefore, ensure that their labour and struggles are not in vain.

“It is, therefore, incumbent on us to follow their footsteps in ensuring that this nation, Nigeria, continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

“We are also to note that Allah forbids any act of tribalism, terrorism, and hatred among his servants but loves cooperation, unity, compassion, stability, justice and righteousness.

“As we celebrate Eid-el-Adha, let us shun all acts of indiscipline, hate speech, and violence to ensure peaceful co-existence and progress of our nation Nigeria,” the Imam said.

He prayed God to forgive Nigeria’s sins, asking God to send peace to every part of the country.

“We seek your blessings and economic prosperity of our land, open the doors of opportunities and success to all sectors of our economy,” he said.

Praying for the President, the cleric, who noted that Tinubu had the heart and passion for the people, asked God to grant him wisdom, strength and good health to govern the country well.

“Surround him (Tinubu) with sound and wise counsel to navigate our country through all the challenges we are currently facing,” he prayed.

He also offered prayers to God for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Hamzat, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu and all those in authority for guidance and wisdom to lead Nigeria to a great future.

At the prayer session were Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila, Principal Private Secretary Hakeem Muri-Okunola, former Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola, Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly Mudashiru Obasa and  Senator Gbenga Ashafa. 

 …Buhari calls for increased food production, awareness

Also, former President Muhammadu Buhari has said he is pleased that more Nigerians have taken to the farm to grow more food so as to bring prices down and feed the nation.

 In a statement signed by Special Adviser to the former President on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the immediate-past President warned, however, that uncontrolled population growth was a matter for concern.

Speaking to journalists shortly after joining Emir of Daura, Dr. Faruk Umar Faruk, to observe the Eid prayer at the township Eid ground Sunday, the former president said: “I am wishing everyone a Happy Sallah. May this special festival bring joy, prosperity and wonderful health to everyone.

“I use this occasion to make an appeal to all citizens to make Nigeria self-reliant. Let us grow our own food. We have shown that we can do it. This is not the time to relent when we see prices going up. 

“Let us buy what is produced in the country. The foundation of a prosperous and stable country has been laid by successive governments, and I encourage our youth, in particular, to continue to play an active role in various nation-building efforts.

“I urge the youth of the country to seek to know about the founding fathers of the nation, the important personalities of their regions, and derive inspiration from them.”

Reflecting on the massive crowds at the Eid in Daura, the former President expressed concern at unchecked population expansion, saying that it will bring a lot of problems to future generations.

He said: “There is a need for greater discussion and awareness about this problem, as well as a need to invest more in education and health.”

Commenting on the current situation in the country, Buhari said: “Considering the situation in the country, and in the spirit of the Sallah, let us help one another and be our bothers’ keepers.  I wish everyone a happy Sallah.”

Speaking to members of the National Youth Service (NYSC), who have maintained a tradition of paying homage to him every Sallah, the former president said: “The scheme continues to be a strong fabric holding the country together and urged successive administrations to continue to strengthen it.”

He described the NYSC as one of the greatest achievements of General Yakubu Gowon as Head of state.

As he has every year, the former president gave a cow, 10 bags of rice, and some cash to the NYSC members to celebrate the occasion.

…Shettima prays for peace, bumper harvest

In a related development, Vice President Kashim Shettima has prayed for peace and a bumper harvest from this year’s farming season.

He spoke journalists shortly after joining thousands of Muslim faithful to pray at the Ramat Square Eid Ground in Maiduguri, Borno state.

Shettima, also prayed for social harmony and development of Nigeria.

Speaking to Journalists after the congregational prayer, the Vice President said: “We pray for peace and progress. We urge Nigerians to pray for peace in the land and for prosperity and this is the agricultural season we hope and pray that we will get a bumper harvest that will address some of the food security challenges that we are facing.”

Shettima urged Nigerians to live in peace and continue to pray for the nation’s progress.

“We want to emphasise peace. We have to cultivate peace because there can never be development without peace and there can never be peace without development, they have to go on a pari-pasu basis.

“We have to rally our people to unite as a people and face our common challenges and avoid grandstanding,” said the vice president.

In attendance were Borno acting governor, Usman Kadafur, the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn-Garbai and Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Alhaji Abubakar Kyari, among others.

…Bago, Etsu Nupe, NUJ urge prayers

Similarly, Niger state governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, has implored Muslims to pray for the peace and stability of the country while reflecting on the great lessons of celebrating Eid-El-Kabir.

The farmer governor, in his Eid-El-Kabir message in Minna, underscored the significance of the festival to Muslims, and called on them to imbibe the virtues of love, obedience, and sacrifice as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim.

He said: “I urge the Muslim faithful to use the occasion to foster harmonious co-existence, strengthen their devotion and remain resolute to the will of Allah. I also call on all to pray for improved security and peace in the state in particular and Nigeria in general.”

Also in a message,  the Etsu Nupe and Chairman of the Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, urged Muslims to emulate good virtues of Prophet Ibrahim.

“I urge you to emulate Prophet Ibrahim’s virtues of sacrifice, obedience and submissiveness to the will of Allah, in order to be successful in life,” he said.

The monarch said: “I therefore call on Muslim faithful to pray to God to assist President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, other elected and appointed leaders to overcome both the current economic meltdown and security challenges bedeviling the country”.

Also in a Sallah message, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Niger state Council, Comrade Abu Nmodu, called on citizens to imbibe the spirit of peaceful coexistence with each other. 

He said, “The lessons of sacrifice and total submission to the will of the Almighty Allah should continue to resonate in the lives of the faithful and guide them in their relationship with the Creator and fellow human beings.”

…EFCC boss tasks citizens on efforts against corruption

In a related message, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ola Olukoyede, has called for enhanced and more determined efforts against economic and financial crimes and other acts of corruption in the country.

The EFCC boss made the call in Abuja, Sunday, in his goodwill message to the Muslim faithful across the country in celebration of Eid- al- Kabir. 

In a statement issued by the commission’s Head, media and publicity, Dele Oyewale, the anti-graft czar rejoiced with the nation on the momentous occasion of Eid-al-Kabir and stressed that the lessons of the festival should drive more commitments to the anti-corruption fight.  

“The lessons of forbearance, sacrifice, faith and hope in Almighty Allah which Eid teaches should imbue in us fresh desire to please God and serve our nation without corrupt practices.  We should renew our efforts towards fighting all forms of economic and financial crimes,” he said.  

He expressed confidence that Nigeria would defeat corruption through concerted commitments of every stakeholder in the anti- corruption corridor and reiterated his belief that the citizens are not inherently corrupt, affirming that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with us as a nation. 

“It is obvious that we can attain peace, love, progress and unity of purpose for a Nigeria free of corruption and unsavoury practices. Let’s keep building. Let’s keep attacking every threat to our progress.  Let’s keep fighting economic and financial crimes together,” he added.

About Abdullahi M. Gulloma, Bode Olagoke Abuja, Segun Odunewu, Lagos, Sadiq Abubakar, Maiduguri and Aideloje Ojo Minna 

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