The Tinubu proposition to citizens

In an apparent appeal to Nigerians, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said Nigeria needed sacrificing citizens to fulfill the dreams of its founding fathers. This is quite germane, particularly at this juncture of Nigeria’s developmental strides.

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. He 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.

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 (SAW) came with the message of sacrifice. According to him, it is all about service to God and humanity.

He recalled that former Nigerian leaders from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikiwe, 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 towards 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”.

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 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.

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 his special adviser 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, Buhari 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.”

Tinubu’s proposition could not have come at a better time than the celebration of the Eid el-Kabir, which commemorates the sacrifice offered by Prophet Ibrahim as commanded by Allah.

We, therefore, join Mr President to appeal to the patriotic fervour of Nigerians to continue to exercise patience with the Tinubu government as it works assiduously to ensure that their sacrifices towards the greatness of Nigeria are not in vain.