Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in a Sallah message, as he felicitates with Muslim faithful on Eid-el-Kabir, asked Nigerians to remain steadfast and committed to the cause of one, united and developed country.
He observed that despite the current economic challenges, the country and its people had all that was required to come out better and stronger.
The Senate President called on all Nigerians to live in harmony with one another irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliation.
“The significance of the Eid-el-Kabir festival is to celebrate the true love and grace of Almighty Allah to mankind through sacrifice, devotion and faith,” he said.
Prayers Not Enough
On his part, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, also enjoined Muslims to use the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir to pray for the nation’s quick recovery from her current economic recession, expressing confidence that Nigerians, working together, could heal the nation’s economy.
He, however, stressed that prayers alone were not enough and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to look beyond party affiliation to constitute a Special Economic Squad to rescue the nation from its present economic meltdown.
Senator Ekweremadu is optimistic that the present economic challenges are not beyond redemption, but could actually become the nation’s turning point away from an oil-driven economy to real prosperity if the right policies and structures were put in place.
While messages have continued to pour in from Nigeria’s leaders, Muslims are celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir amidst financial constrains.
A report released barely two weeks ago by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the nations’ economy had glided into recession.
The cost of goods have gone up by over 80 per cent, since the Naira has continued to drop value against the dollar.
The nation’s economy cracked with the decline in the price of crude, which is the mainstay of the economy and the resurgence of militant activities in the Niger Delta has weakened the revenue drive further, dipping output by 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.56 million bpd in the last six months.
Muslims who want to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir are lamenting the cost of ram and other items needed to mark the ceremony.
Experts have stressed the need for the nation to invest more in agriculture, with the government promoting youth involvement to reduce unemployment that is also on the increase.
Agriculture was the mainstay of the nation’s economy before the discovery of crude oil and Nigeria has large arable land
while cost of living is soaring, the government has assured Nigerians of its commitment to addressing the economic challenges and bringing the nation back to a track of growth.
In a special message to Nigerians, the President said, “the lessons of the Eid are piety and sacrifice and, my dear brothers and sisters, you have exhibited these in equal measure”.
“The present recession is as a result of cumulative effects of worldwide economic downturn and failure in the past to plan and save for difficult times. It is impossible to separate the present from the past to appreciate the extent to which mistakes of the past are affecting everyday life today.
“I assure you that this administration is working round the clock to remove the hardships the country is going through. Rail and road constructions, projects in the housing sector, support for farmers and for small and medium scale industries, youth and women’s empowerment programmes, support for revival of industries are all designed to reinvigorate the economy and enhance living standards of ordinary people.
“We are getting security right. We are stopping corruption in its tracks and we will get the economy right by the Grace of God.
“I enjoin Muslims to live by the dictates of Islam, to keep good relationships with their Christian brothers and sisters and as patriots to maintain the spirit of the Nigerian nation.
“I wish everyone happy holidays,” the President stated.