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Nigerians seek end to killings as Muslims mark Eid-el Maulud

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Muslim faithful celebrate Eid Maulud at Kaduna township stadium in Kaduna…yesterday.<br />

Nigerians have called for an end to killings and other forms of violence that have, for long, plagued the country.

The calls, amplified by Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), were contained in various messages of goodwill sent yesterday, to felicitate with the Nigerian Muslim faithful, who joined their counterparts around the world to celebrate this year’s Eid-el Maulud.

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Eid-el Maulud marks the birth of Prophet Muhammad.

The need to end violence and embrace peace was also stressed in messages by some state governors to mark the day.

ACF called on Nigerians to embrace peace as it lamented the killings, kidnapping, and looting in the country. It urged Nigerians to put an end to the menace.

In a statement by its spokesman, Emmanuel Yawe, ACF said: “The Forum observes that this year’s birthday of the Holy Prophet is being celebrated with mixed feelings, our country is mired in deep crises of violent demonstrations, killings and looting at an unprecedented level.

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“The events of the past few weeks do not portray us as godly people that we are known all over the world to be. The Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum, Chief Audu Ogbe, and all his members are therefore sending a solemn appeal to all Nigerians to accept peace, patience, and perseverance as these are the only attributes of Prophet Muhammad that distinguished him and that will bring unity and progress to our country.”

GOVERNORS, who sent messages of goodwill, included Samuel Ortom, Godwin Obaseki, Mai Mal Buni, Okezie Ikpeazu, Ifeanyi Okowa of Benue, Edo, Yobe, Abia, and Delta states respectively.

They stressed the need for peace, unity, love, tolerance, and prayers for the progress of the country.

Buni urged Muslims to demonstrate greater commitment to peaceful coexistence and tolerance. He lamented that the celebration came at a time the nation was grappling with challenges and losses occasioned by unrest in the country.

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“Unfortunately, this is happening when the global economy, including Nigeria’s, is adversely affected by seven-month coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Obaseki urged Muslims to emulate the virtue and the teaching of tolerance and peace of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).

His message, contained in a statement, urged the Muslim faithful to show love and tolerance as espoused in Islam.

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“On this day, we are once again reminded of the need to show love and be at peace with one another for the development and progress of our state and country,” Obaseki said.

While Ortom urged Muslims to pray for peace and unity of the country, Ikpeazu advised them to rededicate themselves to the sustenance of peace and coexistence amongst diverse ethnic and religious groups.

Also laments the damage caused by recent upheavals in the country, the governor said Nigeria needed urgently justice, fairness, equity, and an end to impunity, beginning from leaders to the led.

The governor’s message is conveyed in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Amase.

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Ikpeazu’s message, relayed through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, stressed that peace had become more expedient, especially after violent protests that rocked the country in recent days.

Okowa, in his message, called on Nigerians to shun all divisive tendencies and work towards building a better country.

He also underscored the need for Muslims to offer prayers for the peace, unity, and continuous progress of the nation.

His message, delivered in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, espoused the need for Muslims and other religious groups to pray towards a better Nigeria.

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MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory [FCT], Mallam Muhammed Musa Bello; and a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, also sent messages.

They called on Muslims to adhere strictly to the cardinal principles of peace and tranquility in their dealings with fellow men.

Bello urged FCT residents to reflect the true meaning of piety, sacrifice, patience, tolerance, and fellowship in relationship with fellow residents.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye, the minister said the celebration called for sober reflection and spiritual rejuvenation.

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‘’We should not only embrace dialogue to settle our differences, but we should also reject all attempts by unpatriotic individuals or groups to incite violence which, in the end, is un-rewarding, it is only by embracing dialogue that we can ensure peace in our polity and in this way, the lessons that Eid-el Maulud teaches would have served its true purpose.’’

Okorocha, in a statement on Thursday, signed by his Special Adviser (Media), Sam Onwuemeodo, called on Muslims in the country to use the opportunity offered by the Eid-el Maulud to pray for peace and love among Nigerians.

“Senator Okorocha maintained that, with prayers, God could intervene to make the nation overcome her challenges and equally move faster on the path of progress.

“He noted that no nation can achieve greatness with a high level of intolerance, but can only achieve that with unity of purpose and love for one another,” the statement read.

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