The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has emphasised the need for religious tolerance and harmony in the country.
The Governor, in a message to Nigerian Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Maulud celebration said that the current times call for greater emphasis on religious harmony, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence.
He said: “We are at a time where religious harmony is a necessary ingredient of our daily life. This is because a number of revisionists are trying to hide under the passion that is usually inflamed by religion to cause disharmony and disrupt the peace.
“We must resist such revisionists and tell them in clear terms that ours is a society that values peaceful coexistence, brotherhood, and unity. Like the Motto of our Dear Country, Unity, and Faith, we must continue to remain united even when we practice a different faith.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of Oyo State, let me congratulate all our Muslim brothers and sisters on the turn of another Eid-el-Maulud and reiterate that we all remain faithful to the teachings of the Holy Quran, which emphasis tolerance, respect for one another, humane conduct and love for fellow human beings.
“We can only build a great nation when we are truly our brothers’ keepers and adhere to the teachings of the prophet who emphasise love as a golden virtue among humanity.”
Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has assured the people of the state of his administration’s commitment to providing focused and quality governance.
He gave the assurance in a statement on Sunday while felicitating with Muslims as they mark the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
“Let me assure all our people that our Administration remains irrevocably committed to providing focused and qualitative governance that will create an enabling environment for Public-Private Sector Partnership (PPP) which is fundamental to creation of an enduring economic development,” he said.
Speaking further, he called on Muslims to emulate the qualities of Prophet Ibrahim which he says include patience, perseverance, steadfastness and obedience which according to him, are key to nation building.
“As we celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir Festival, it is important that we also take note of the lessons of the festival. We should all emulate Prophet Ibrahim’s patience, perseverance, steadfastness, obedience and commitment as vital ingredients toward the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda,” he said.
The governor also called for the continued support, cooperation, and prayers of the people of the state while asking them to celebrate in moderation.
“Let me enjoin you all to celebrate with moderation. We must all remember that even this celebration is an act of worship to Allah. And, I pray that God accepts all our worship as Ibadah. May He also grant us good rewards in this life and hereafter”.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Monday called for a summit of Muslim nations if the United States takes the controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
President Donald Trump faces a key decision this week over Jerusalem’s status, potentially reversing years of US policy and prompting a furious response from the Palestinians and the Arab world.
The 57-member OIC sought to amplify concern over the possible move in an emergency meeting on Monday in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.
“If the United States takes the step of recognising Jerusalem as the so-called capital of Israel, we unanimously recommend holding a meeting at the level of council of foreign ministers followed by an Islamic summit as soon as possible,” the pan-Islamic body said in a statement.
The OIC also warned that recognising Jerusalem or establishing any diplomatic mission in the disputed city would be seen as a “blatant attack on the Arab and Islamic nations”.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contentious issues of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Most of the international community, including the United States, does not formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, insisting the issue can only be resolved through final-status negotiations.
Central to the issue of recognition is the question of whether Trump decides to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
All foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv with consular representation in Jerusalem.
Israelis and Palestinians are eagerly watching to see whether he again renews a waiver delaying the move, as his predecessors have done.
There are suggestions that Trump will sign the waiver and decline to move the embassy for now, but later this week declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel, which seized the largely Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, claims both halves of the city as its “eternal and undivided capital”.
But the Palestinians want the eastern sector as capital of their promised state and fiercely oppose any Israeli attempt to extend sovereignty there.
Several peace plans have come unstuck over debates on whether, and how, to divide sovereignty or oversee the city’s sites holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims
The death toll from an attack on a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai rose to 305 including 27 children, the state prosecution said Saturday in a statement detailing the gruesome massacre.
It said there were between 25 and 30 attackers with long hair and beards, dressed in camouflage and flying a black banner with the Muslim profession of faith on it, which could be a description of the Islamic State group’s flag.
They surrounded the mosque and opened fire on the worshippers on Friday, it said.
The attackers had arrived in five all-terrain vehicles and later set fire to seven cars belonging to the worshippers.
The statement said witnesses recounted hearing gunshots and explosions before some of the assailants entered the mosque.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims arrived at the “stoning of the devil” ritual on Saturday (September 2) for the second day of the annual haj pilgrimage.
Pilgrims threw stones at three walls at Jamarat in Mina, in one of the main rituals of the haj.
Authorities redesigned the Jamarat area after two stampedes, one in 2004 and one in 2006, killed hundreds of pilgrims, and the frequency of such disasters has been greatly reduced as the government spent billions of dollars upgrading and expanding haj infrastructure and crowd control technology.
Saudi Arabia has said that over 2 million pilgrims, most of them from outside Saudi Arabia, have arrived for the annual pilgrimage, a religious duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford the journey.
It was also convened to forestall any form of reprisal attacks in Kaduna State, and seek the support of the leaders in finding solutions to the Southern Kaduna crisis which has claimed so many lives.
Resident community leaders comprising of Igbo, Yoruba, Igala and others from various part of the country gathered at the Government House, on the invitation of the Kaduna State Government.
Speaking, Mr Bantex warned those trying to incite unnecessary tensions in the state as a result of recent events elsewhere to desist from circulating videos, images and making inciting comments.
He appealed to the community leaders to prevail on their subjects to uphold peace in the state, remain calm and firmly reject any attempt to drag them into any form of violent behaviour.
Enemies Of Peace
“Those trying to incite unnecessary tensions in the state because of what is happening in Ile Ife, Osun State should desist from circulating videos and images with inciting commentary and calls to citizens for reprisals.
“Already, the unfortunate incidents in that part of the country have been contained and taken care of, so the government will not watch enemies of peace capitalising on the situation to cause problems in Kaduna State, using images and videos to incite reprisals.
“People circulating images and calling for reprisals are enemies of peaceful society, and all citizens must say no to them.
“The Kaduna State Government is determined to ensure that anyone or group of persons distributing images and videos calling for revenge are arrested and prosecuted.
“Citizens must support the government to ensure that every threat to law and order in the state is defeated,” he said.
Speaking on the crisis in Southern Kaduna, the Acting Governor noted that the violence was purely an act of criminality and banditry, contrary to the Christian against Muslim crisis as widely believed.
According to him, the most peaceful local government area in Kaduna State is Jaba Local Government Area, which is one of the eight local governments that make up the ‘Zone Three’ called Southern Kaduna.
The leader of the Community Leaders Forum and President-General of Yoruba Traditional Rulers Council in the 19 Northern States, Abdulganiyu Oguntoyinbo, in his response said those responsible for the Ile Ife crisis did not represent the Yorubas as a people.
He urged the Yoruba community in Kaduna and Northern Nigeria to remain calm, peaceful and shun reprisal attacks.
“We are tired of blood spilling and we therefore appeal to our political, religious and traditional leaders irrespective of their differences to come together and find a lasting solution to the recurring crises,” Oguntoyinbo said.
While commending the Kaduna State Government for convening the meeting to acquaint them on the measures taken to protect lives and properties of citizens, especially the non-indigenes, he lauded the Governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s administration for the ongoing infrastructural development in the state.
Although the community leaders commended the recent steps taken by government and security agencies to end the attacks in Southern Kaduna, they expressed concern over the negative consequence of the crisis on the socio-economic development of the state.
Reports say so far, many lives and properties were reportedly lost in about 10 sectarian crises in Kaduna State in the past 30 years.
Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, worried about the state of the nation and President Muhammadu Buhari’s health, called for an interfaith prayer service.
Political, religious and traditional rulers from all the 33 local government areas of the state went beyond tribal, political and religious sentiments as they converge to pray for peace and well-being of the President, as he continues to receive medical treatment abroad.
Worried by the lingering spate of economic and security challenges facing Nigeria, Christian and Muslim leaders led an interfaith service at the Adamasingba Stadium, Ibadan to also offer prayers for progress, peaceful atmosphere in the country.
Some of the clerics at the event stressed the need for Nigerians to reconnect with God for the attainment of purposeful socio-economic development in the country.
Addressing the gathering, Governor Ajimobi expressed optimism that Nigeria will bounce back from recession within the next six months.
He lauded the initiative of the prayer session, stressing the importance of prayer for things to return to normal in Nigeria.
Nigeria Will Flourish Again
The governor maintained that though the leaders are trying their best to ensure that the situation gets back to normal, but the country needs divine intervention.
He expressed optimism that Nigeria’s economy would flourish again if the momentum of collective intellectual efforts were sustained.
”The first reason why we are praying is not only to make requests from God but to appreciate God as he decreed that when we call on him, he will hear us; the second reason is to pray for peace, unity, and progress.
“The crude oil market is improving, Nigeria is producing two million barrels per day and the price of crude is improving.
“With the way things are going, Naira will start improving within the next three to six months,” the governor said.
Commenting on the role of women, wife of the Oyo State Governor, Mrs Ajimobi, said ”the role of women is to pray for Nigeria and to imbibe discipline in our children to keep them away from trouble.
“If we instill the fear of God in them, they will continue to do the right thing”.
Spirit Of Positive Thinking
On his part, a former senator, Lekan Balogun, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, commended the organisers of the event for looking beyond political and religious barriers to pray for the peace of the country and recovery of the President.
Dignitaries from various political and religious extraction also laud the initiative which brought all and sundry together with a common purpose.
In his remark, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Community Relations, Abimbola Siyanbade, said Nigerians are known to be prayerful but the situation on ground calls for unity of purpose among religious leaders and their adherence to pray to God with oneness of spirit.
He said the event was put together for people of the state to pray for peace and progress in Nigeria.
Highlight of the event was prayer for the state, Nigeria and political leaders in the country among others.
Clerics admonished Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of positive thinking and attitudinal change towards leaders, calling on all to offer prayers for the President.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has promised to empower at least 100,000 youths and women through the line-up empowerment programme of the state government.
He said his administration had prioritised the well-being of youths and promised to empower them so as to prevent some politicians from using them to cause crises in the state.
The Governor made the pledge on Tuesday while addressing the multitude of people who paid him a solidarity visit in the spirit of the Sallah celebration at the Government House in Lokoja, Kogi State’s capital.
He urged the people of the state to be patient with President Muhammadu Buhari over Nigeria’s economic recession.
Governor Bello also urged them to uphold peace and unity among themselves, irrespective of their religion and ethnicity.
He promised equity in carrying out his duty as governor and vowed to wipe out corrupt practices in the state in north-central Nigeria.
The traditional ruler of Lokoja, Muhammadu Maikarfi and his subjects were among the multitude at the Government House, to show their support for the administration in power.
The monarch, who is also the state’s Chairman, Traditional Council of Chiefs, thanked the Governor for his patience in leading the people of Kogi State.
He appealed to him to forgive those who threw stones at his convoy and called on Muslim faithful to embrace good conduct which he described as the basis of the Eid-el-Kabir.
The Deputy Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque, Ahmad Onilewura, has called on all Nigerians on the occasion of Eid el-Kabir celebration to tolerate one another and contribute to national peace and unity.
He made the call at the Muslim National prayer ground in Abuja on Monday, where he urged both Muslims and Christians in Nigeria to unite and peacefully coexist.
According to him, tolerance, self sacrifice and respect for one another, irrespective of one’s religion is one major lesson the festive period provides.
He also explained the significance of slaughtering of the ram, a regular feature during the celebrations.
The Eid-el-Kabir is being observed under heavy security presence, especially in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
A combined team of armed police men, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Department for State Service were seen at difference prayer grounds.
The Inspector General of Police, who was also one of the dignitaries that observed their prayers at the Muslim prayer ground in Abuja, explained the reasons behind the heavy deployment of security personnel.
Across The States
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed were at the prayer ground in Ilorin, the state capital for the Eid prayers.
While security officials made it impossible to get the Senate President to speak to journalists, the state governor sued for peaceful coexistence among all.
The Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Gaidam used the occasion to encourage Muslims to pray for the country, while his counterpart in Adamawa State, Mohammed Jibrilla assured citizens that Nigeria would soon get out of the hard times.
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello urged citizens to peacefully coexist irrespective of their religion.
According to Islamic teachings, the Eid el-Kabir celebration is an annual event to commemorate the act of faith of the patriarch, Ibrahim who obeyed Allah when he was asked to sacrifice his son.