Saturday, 30th September 2023

Eid el-Fitr: Continue Ramadan values, be modest, vigilant, Sultan, IGP, DSS tell Nigerians

By Odita Sunday, Adamu Abuh (Abuja), Kehinde Olatunji, Shakirah Adunola (Lagos), Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan), Njadvara Musa (Damaturu) and Tina Agosi Todo (Calabar)
21 April 2023   |   5:41 am
The Shawwal Crescent was, yesterday afternoon, sighted in Tamir, Saudi Arabia, effectively marking the last day of the Holy month of Ramadan. With the development, Muslims in Nigeria and across the World will celebrate Eid-el-Fitr today.

Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.PIX:Twitter

• Tinubu seeks more patriotism from Nigerians • Saraki: Let’s transfer Ramadan’s values to our daily lives
• Gbajabiamila, Abiodun, Ugwuanyi, Ayade, Buni felicitate with Muslims, call for unity • Obasa, Adebule seek prayers for Nigeria, President-elect
• Despite election controversies, eschew bitterness, join hands with winners to make Nigeria better, Abdulsalami tells politicians
• Don’t go back to forsaken habits after Ramadan, Olubadan charges Muslims

The Shawwal Crescent was, yesterday afternoon, sighted in Tamir, Saudi Arabia, effectively marking the last day of the Holy month of Ramadan. With the development, Muslims in Nigeria and across the World will celebrate Eid-el-Fitr today.

Earlier, the Federal Government had declared today and Monday public holidays. The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, felicitated with the Nigerian Muslim Ummah, and the entire Muslim world on the occasion of this year’s Eid.

He noted that in the spirit of Ramadan, “Muslims are reminded that Zakatul Fitr is a compulsory food-levy imposed on privileged Muslims, to be given to the less privileged in the society. The Council, therefore, appeals to all concerned to ensure that they do not only comply but also comply on time. The stipulated practice is to give out the prescribed measurement to beneficiaries in the last two days of Ramadan and not later than before the Eid prayer.”

Already, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has charged Commissioners of Police (CPs) and Tactical Commanders in all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and their supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) to beef up security ahead of the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

IGP asked officers to engage in critical assessment of threat-prone areas, thorough stop and search, raids on black spots, and other anti-crime strategies capable of sustaining peace and public safety in Nigeria.

According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, “the IGP assures of continued efforts aimed at decimating crimes and criminality, and improving public safety and security across the country.

“The IGP has directed that supervisory AIGs and their respective CPs should ensure adequate deployment of officers and assets to critical locations, most especially Eid prayer grounds and recreation centres to build confidence among citizens and fun seekers.

“The IGP, however, warned that personnel deployed must be professional and mindful of the fundamental rights of citizens, while discharging their responsibilities with all sense of decorum and alertness.”

Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Nigeria’s secret police has urged citizens to be vigilant and security conscious during the Eid festivities. Spokesman of the secret police, Peter Afunanya, who gave the advisory, also disclosed that some gunmen were arrested in Kano.

According to Afunanya, “The Department of State Services (DSS) informs the public that it has arrested two gunmen in Kano today (Thursday). Items seized from the duo are two AK-47 assault rifles, two empty AK-47 magazines, a red boxer motorcycle, and a sack of yams in which the guns were concealed.

“The suspects were on transit to deliver the arms for a planned attack in one of the Northern states. This development underscores the need for citizens to be extra vigilant and report any unusual or suspicious movements, persons or acts to the security agencies nearest to them.

“Operators and patrons of fun, hospitality and tourism centres are enjoined to be cautious during the festive period. They should scale up measures to ensure safety of their facilities.”

The President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reiterated his resolve to ensure a prosperous Nigeria under his watch, while stating that he is ready to walk with all Nigerians.

In a message to celebrate Eid, Tinubu said citizens should constantly seek to become a better version of themselves in patriotism, dedication to duty, and honesty.

“For Muslims in our country and all over the world, Ramadan is a sacred spiritual obligation as one of the five pillars of Islam. With the help of Almighty Allah, we have gone through a period of abstinence, self-discipline, self-reflection, self-purification in gratitude, and total submission to the will of Allah. We have engaged in fervent prayers and supplications to Allah.

“Beyond the self-abnegation and pious living that the fasting period imposed on us, the spiritual exercise we just concluded has also helped us to improve our moral character, and refine our minds in pursuit of higher ideals for which there should be no turning back.

“We are at the dawn of a renewed hope for a better, greater, and more prosperous Nigeria, and I stand ready to walk with all Nigerians, young and old, male and female, with this opportunity to serve you in honour and dignity. This is a commitment that I have made, and one in which we cannot afford to fail,” he said.

[FILES] Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. Photo/FACEBOOK/SPEAKERGBAJA

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, while reflecting on the significance of the just concluded Ramadan fasting, said Muslims should internalise the lessons and good habits that usually come with the religious practice. He called on Muslims across the country to use the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr to pray for the country.

He noted that one of the lessons learnt during the holy month was that of compassion and care for the needy, urging Muslims to continue to be their brothers’ keepers as enjoined by the Almighty Allah through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, charged Muslims on sustaining the values, morals and tenets they observed and imbibed during Ramadan. He noted that though fasting is over, Muslims should strive to continue with the total devotion to the Almighty Allah, good deeds and constant remembrance, as well as reverence for God.

The governor, who urged Muslims to celebrate the festival in a moderate manner, as Allah frowns at flamboyancy, further urged them to extend love and give to the less privileged, in the spirit of Ramadan.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has called on Nigerians to see the Eid celebration as a morale booster in the nation’s quest for peace, unity and progress. In his Sallah message, he stressed the need for Nigerians to be prayerful and continue to live in peace and harmony, while cherishing one another as people of one nation under God bound in freedom, peace and unity.

Former military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), has called on Muslims in the country to implement what they have learned during the month of Ramadan. The elder statesman made the call shortly after the closing of the 2023 Ramadan Lecture at his uphill residence mosque in Minna, Niger State.

He said: “I do hope that at the end of Ramadan, we will still continue to imbibe what we have practiced during the period, it involves a lot of almsgiving, understanding, and being our neighbour’s keepers, I ask fellow Nigerians and Muslims all over the world, to try and implement all that they practice during the month of Ramadan, may peace continue to reign in our country, we also pray for the revival of our country’s economy.”

He said a lot has been taught and learned during the Holy month, hence the need to put the lessons of the month into practice to better the lives of Muslims and make society a peaceful place to live in.

Abdulsalami admonished Nigerians, especially politicians, to eschew bitterness and join hands to better the country’s economy.

“Election has come and gone, and of course, there are always some controversies from the winners and the losers alike, it is my prayer that, whatever the outcome of the court cases, we will put them aside and move forward, so that together we can develop our country, and also to try to see how we can revive our economy.”

The former Head of State further advised candidates of various political parties who have gone into the election, whether emerged victorious or otherwise, especially those whose cases are before the law courts, should accept whatever the outcome of the court case in good faith.

Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, urged Muslims not to drop the values imbibed during the fasting period, but to adopt them as part of their daily lives, and in the performance of their duties and obligations as citizens.

Saraki, in a statement, also congratulated Muslims across the world for the successful completion of the Ramadan fasting for the Hijra 1444 and noted that the values of self-denial, empathy with the less privileged, helping the weak, living a decent life, exhibiting discipline in the use of all the senses and devoting more time to supplications before the Almighty Allah should be continued even after the fasting period.

“If we can all continue to be good Muslims and good citizens irrespective of whether we are in Ramadan, then our communities will be a better place for all of us to live and we will enjoy the peace of Almighty Allah.

“As Muslims, we must reflect on the teachings of Islam and the lessons we have learned from the various recommended activities during Ramadan in our activities as citizens of this great country. It is the only way we can save our country.

“We must not cease praying for our country. This is a great country that Almighty Allah has blessed with all the necessary materials for her greatness. We have to do our part for the manifest destiny of our country to be realised.

“While I pray to Allah to help us break all the jinx holding our country down, I call on Allah to protect all our men and women in the security agencies who are at the frontlines confronting the enemies. May Allah give them victory over the enemy and heal our land.”

Olubadan of Ibadanland

The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, yesterday, charged the Islamic faithful not to go back to all the forsaken habits during the 30-day Ramadan fast. Oba Balogun gave this charge in his congratulatory message to Muslims on the completion of the Islamic injunction.

In the message, the monarch said the gains and blessings of Ramadan are not limited to the observance period alone, but extend to the period after the injunction and to access the blessings, Muslims are expected to keep to the tenets of the Holy Quran as regards the Ramadan fast.

He said: “While congratulating my brothers and sisters in Islam for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast, I admonish us to ensure our keeping faith with the demands of the Holy month. If it was possible for us to keep away from certain habits considered unbecoming of devout Muslims for a whole 30 days, it should not be difficult for us to forsake such things for the rest of our lives.

“We should continue with all our good deeds of Ramadan period and make them our ways of life. That’s the purpose and that’s the teaching of Holy Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Unto Him). We are not people of genuine faith if our concern and love for our neighbours only last the Ramadan period.”

Asking for moderate celebration of the event, the monarch enjoined all to be cautious and let everything be done within the ambit of civility and consideration for others.

Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has urged Muslim faithful to pray for peace and unity of the country as they celebrate Eid. In his message, the governor charged Nigerians to join hands to build a greater and peaceful Nigeria irrespective of religion, tribe, ethnic and political affiliation.

“Ramadan is an important and reinvigorating spiritual exercise, and I therefore, call on Muslims, particularly in our dear state, Cross River, to, at all times, imbibe the lessons of Ramadan, which resolve round love, sacrifice, peace and unity.

“All our country needs at this time is peace and unity and I urge you to make these two items the focal point of your supplications to the Almighty Allah as you celebrate Eid-el Fitri.”

Similarly, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa and Senator-elect for Lagos West Senatorial District, Dr. Idiat Adebule, have felicitated Muslims in Nigeria and across the world for the successful conclusion of this year’s Ramadan.

Obasa noted that the grace given Muslims during the fasting period, which culminates in this year’s Eid-el-Fitr, is a renewal of the need to constantly show gratitude to Almighty Allah for His provision, love and protection.

The Speaker expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon begin to experience a new direction with the forthcoming change of leadership baton between President Muhammadu Buhari and Tinubu.

Adebule, on her part, rejoiced with President Buhari, Tinubu, the Sultan of Sokoto and all Muslim Ummah on the occasion of Eid-il-Fitr. She enjoined the faithful to sustain the good deeds exhibited during the Holy month.

The former Lagos State deputy governor called on youths to shun negative acts, channel their energies to positive things and join hands with the incoming administration to develop the country.

Yobe State Governor, H.E Mai Mala Buni

Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State has called on Muslim faithful to pray for a sustained peace and prosperity in the state and the country. According to him, without sustained peace and security no meaningful development could take place in any part of the country.

The Director General, Press and Media Affairs, Mamman Mohammed, in a statement, yesterday in Damaturu, said: “Buni prayed to God to reward every Muslim for the successful Ramadan fasting and forgive them their shortcomings.”

He congratulated some of the faithful for having the privilege to perform the Lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia, including the completion of the Ramadan fasting.

On the virtues of Islam, he said: “Ramadan fasting comprises patience, devotion, self-control, humility, kindness, tolerance and forgiveness.”

According to him, all the virtues of Islam should be maintained after the fasting period.

The governor also reminded the faithful to give out Zakatul Fitr to the needy as a climax to the one-month religious obligation.

His words: “Giving out measures of foodstuff to the poor and needy, as stipulated by Islam is an act of worship that strengthens bond of unity.

“Meeting the basic needs of the poor also promotes happiness and ensure mercy and love among the various communities.”

He added that the Sallah celebration is also a period of sacrifice and generosity, which will make life more meaningful to others.

“I wish to express my utmost gratitude to God for the relative peace enjoyed across the state,” noting that the people should not lose faith with the recent killing of 10 villagers in Gujba local council.”

He added that barely a day after, the Boko Haram killings, four people also died in a car crash in Damaturu, along Gashua road.

“May the souls of the departed rest in peace, while the hospitalized seven victims recover speedy,” he said.

He commended the military and other security agencies for their commitment to duty, urging them to remain vigilant and proactive in fighting terrorism and other criminalities in the state.

He also called on Nigerians to pray for a peaceful and successful transition of power in the country.

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