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Reps caucus seeks peaceful co-existence, cleric greets celebrants

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Travellers at Jabi Motor Park on their way home for Sallah in Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has called on Muslims to use the occasion of the end of fast to rekindle hope in the unity of Nigeria.

Led by Ndudi Elumelu (PDP: Delta), the group urged Nigerians, especially those in leadership positions, to internalise self-restraint and trust in God in the spirit of honesty, justice, mutual respect, tolerance and peaceful co-existence besides love and care for one another in line with the teachings of Prophet Mohammed.

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The caucus charged leaders at all levels to rededicate themselves to a life of selfless service, honesty and transparency.

Elumelu continued: “Indeed, we must, as a people, instil such virtues in our everyday life in order to salvage and stabilise our nation at this critical time.

“In the same vein, we urge that the essence of Eid-el-Fitr permeates the fabrics of our national life and spur love for one another, particularly in reaching out to the downtrodden, especially the victims of escalated acts of violence in our country.

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“Our caucus also implores those behind the mindless acts of terrorism to turn a new leaf and note that their actions can never be justified under any guise.”

MEANWHILE, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has congratulated Muslim brethren on Sallah.

The cleric enjoined them to join hands with Christians in praying for the country.

Speaking with The Guardian, Martins asked Muslims to specifically pray to God concerning the economic and security challenges.

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“Second, our prayers should also be for those who have the responsibility for the leadership of the country, the President, state governors and other levels of government that they would be given the wisdom and prudence to know exactly what to do and to do that which God called them to do for the welfare of all citizens,” he said.

Acknowledging that there are extremists in all religions, Martins said Muslims should pray to God to change the hearts of extremists such as Boko Haram and those that are in alliance with terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, to see Islam as a religion of peace.

He said: “So prayer is the essence of the moment and we expect our Muslim brothers and sisters to also do that for our country. Now, we know that there are extremists in all religions that create a problem and so we also expect that the Muslim brothers and sisters will also pray for those who are extremists such as the Boko Haram that we know very well and all those that are said to be in alliance with the terrorist group like Al-Qaeda that God will speak to their hearts so that they will see Islam as a religion of peace as we are being reminded all the time. I think that is absolutely necessary. That those who have the true spirit of Islam will have a change of heart and do the right thing as regards the relationship with people of other religions.”

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