Makinde Calls For Religious Harmony, Tolerance As Muslims Mark Eid-El-Maulud

 

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.

Read Also: Eid-El-Maulud: Follow Examples Of Prophet Muhammad, Buhari Charges Muslims

“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.”

Promoting Unity In Diversity Is In Our Best Interest – Osinbajo

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace and promote unity in all parts of the country.

Professor Osinbajo believes this is in the best interest of the nation and its people, adding that the country is better and stronger staying united.

“It is a significant lesson that we have learned from history that we are better together than apart. In other words, promoting unity in diversity is in our best interest,” he said on Saturday in Osun State.

The vice president made the remarks in his speech at the 8th Convocation Lecture of the Osun State University in Osogbo, the state capital.

In the speech entitled ‘Six Decades of Chequered Nationhood: Nigeria Still Holds Key to Africa’s Development’, he insisted that Nigeria “is bound to succeed.”

Professor Osinbajo traced the history of Nigeria’s unity to its leaders who championed the nation to gain independence in 1960.

He noted that unlike countries such as Ghana and Kenya among other African nations that had a single dominant political figure to lead them at independence, Nigeria had three remarkable men and several others.

The vice president said, “Nigeria had Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, and Obafemi Awolowo. These three influential leaders came from diverse backgrounds.

“They possess strong will and naturally had diverse and conflicting views but interestingly, all three of them were in agreement. Everywhere in the world where people have succeeded, the rule is first, merit.”

Professor Osinbajo described the country as a leading nation among other African countries and urged the citizens to support efforts at ensuring unity.

He insisted that despite the challenges facing the country, Nigeria has continued to hold the key to development in the continent.

In his address, the state governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, congratulate the graduands and urged them to give back to the society what the institute has positively impacted on them.

The event was also attended by academics, politicians, traditional rulers, as well as various public office holders among others.

Queen Urges Divided Britons To ‘Seek Common Ground’

 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Houses of Parliament in London on June 21, 2017. Carl Court / POOL / AFP

 

Queen Elizabeth II has emphasised the need for Britons to come together to “seek out the common ground”, in what has been viewed as an appeal to overcome divisions over Brexit.

Speaking to members of the Women’s Institute (WI) near her Sandringham estate in eastern England, the 92-year-old said people should never lose sight of the bigger picture.

“Reflecting on a century of change, it is clear that the qualities of the WI endure,” she said, noting the foundation of the institute in 1915, to encourage contributions to World War One.

“The continued emphasis on patience, friendship, a strong community-focus, and considering the needs of others, are as important today as they were when the group was founded all those years ago.

“Of course, every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities.

“As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground, and never losing sight of the bigger picture.

“To me, these approaches are timeless, and I commend them to everyone.”

Her message, delivered in a meeting late on Thursday, comes amid intense argument in parliament about Britain’s exit from the European Union, which is scheduled for March 29.

The royals tend to steer well clear of politics, and as head of state, the queen, in particular, is careful to stay neutral in public.

In her traditional Christmas broadcast to the nation last month, she offered a similar message of unity, warning against “tribalism”.

“Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding,” she said.

AFP

Threat To Unity, One Of Nigeria’s Greatest Challenges – Momoh

 

Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Mr John Momoh, has identified the threat to national unity as one of the greatest challenges facing the country.

Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, stated this on Saturday in Ekiti State, while delivering a speech at the sixth convocation ceremony of the Afe Balalola University.

“One of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria today is the threat to national unity, as centrifugal tensions, resource control and self-determination, ethnicity-based identity politics and religious cleavages have enveloped national consciousness,” he said.

READ ALSO: Speech By John Momoh At The Afe Babalola University Convocation Lecture

The BON chairman believes the issue of ethnicity and the exploitation of its residual gain has been existing in the nation since inception.

He faulted some politicians whom he said were placing private interests above common and national interests, contrary to their campaign promises.

According to the media guru, this has led to lip service and a slow pace of development in the country.

Threat To Unity, One Of Nigeria’s Greatest Challenges – Momoh
Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh (OON), delivers a speech at the sixth Convocation Lecture of the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti on October 20, 2018.

 

“Many politicians see the treasury as a tool for enrichment,” he said, adding, “There’s hardly any distinction, as have been shown in many cases in the past, between their private purse and that of the public.”

“Once an access to public funds is created, its misuse and its abuse begin in earnest. While there may be some accountability at the federal level, there’s little or none at the state and local government levels.”

Momoh explained that the results of the activities of such individuals have been failed promises, poverty, lack of economic development, deprivation, and insecurity.

“The people are alienated from government at all levels. It’s like we are back to colonialism, where the politicians are the ‘colonial masters’ and the people the subjects,” he stressed.

The Channels TV boss, however, said he was aware of the conscious efforts being made at different levels to resolve the challenges facing the country.

He, therefore, advised the youths to believe in themselves and be willing to adapt to any situation, as they remain the hope of the country.

“I encourage you to have faith in your country and defend it,” said Momoh. “The future of Nigeria, lives in, and rests on you.”

He added, “Every of your effort in deconstructing Nigeria’s conundrum for national integration, cohesion and transformation would position you for national greatness.”

Former Military Leader, Babangida Preaches Unity In New Year Message

Nigeria Needs A Viable Opposition, Says Babangida
File photo

Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida has called on Nigerians to be united, in a New Year message to citizens.

Babangida stated this in a statement he personally signed on Monday.

“As Nigerians, our unique strengths and characters to overcome our challenges collectively have never been in doubt, what we need now more than ever is to galvanize these unique qualities for the good of all as permissible under a democratic setup,” he said.

While congratulating Nigerians for making it to the New Year, the former President appealed to Nigerians to use the year in renewing their commitment to the collective growth, prosperity, and development of the country.

This, he said could be achieved by contributing more to nation-building and shun any form of negative tendencies.

Although he admitted the security and economic challenges faced by Nigerians, he, however, stated that diversity of the country remains its strength.

He added, “I have the hope that the nation we so sacrifice to keep going and to this age can only be better notwithstanding various security and economic challenges that have become a world order; confronting every country of the world in different magnitude and in a different way.”

Babangida further appealed to both citizens and leaders at all levels to build on the legacies of the past leaders.

Unity Must Exist Before We Talk About Restructuring – Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has asked advocates of restructuring in Nigeria to prioritize the unity of the nation.

This, according to him, is because there must be unity before talks about the structure of the country can be held.

The Senate President said this on Saturday at the Southern Senators Forum’s retreat in Calabar, the Cross River capital.

“Indeed, unity must exist before we can even talk about restructuring or reform,” Saraki said, adding, “One of my messages to you today as I declare this retreat (open) is, how do we stay together? How do we deliver on the task entrusted to us at this critical time?”

There have been calls from across the country for the restructuring of the country with some arguing that doing that would bring an end to agitations in parts of the country.

Saraki, however, called for focus on unity.

“The only way for us to see ourselves is, first and foremost, as Nigerians; not as language, not as tribe, religion or region or any other consideration out there that serves to deflect our attention from national unity. We must see ourselves as Nigerians first,” he said.

The Chairman of the Forum, Senator Hope Uzodinma, told those at the retreat that its aim is to find solutions to issues threatening the nation’s unity.

“We in the Southern Senators Forum are using this unique platform to arrive at the surest and the most peaceful means of achieving national unity on all issues capable of destabilising our polity,” he said.

“A clamour for the restructuring of our federal structure is on the front burner at the moment. However, the Southern Senators Forum has an equal stake in every national, political, and economic challenge. As legislators, we cannot afford to be indifferent to any national issue.”

The host, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, who is a former Senator, said the retreat is timely as it addresses many concerns.

He commended the forum for discussing major issues in the country, especially restructuring, stressing that it is the duty of elected officers in the country to create a direction and provide the focus it needs to thrive.

Buhari Has Done Nothing To Push For Unity – Nwabueze

Professor Nwabueze

An Elder Statesman, Professor Ben Nwabueze has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for what he describes as his failure to mobilise Nigerians in the pursuit of unity, after over two years of assuming duties as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief.

He made this known on Thursday, during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, while speaking on the ongoing restructuring debate.

The Professor of Law, who also served as a former Minister for Education in the third republic of Shonekan’s Presidency, claimed Mr. Buhari had rather remained resolute in his word that Nigeria’s unity was non-negotiable.

“The President as the elected leader of the country has the primary responsibility to mobilise the whole country for unity.

“Two and half years now since he was installed as President, what has been done or what is being done?

“Nothing has been done, except to talk about unity not being negotiable. So that is the object, and that is why I consider that restructuring is an absolute and compelling necessity,” he added.

True federalism, according to the renowned legal luminary, is the only way out. “True federalism is a union of government and you cannot have a government without a constitution.

“That is a contradiction in terms. Each of the constituent units must have its own constitution. That was the way it was in 1960 and 1963.

“So we must go back to that. We cannot also have government without a coercive force and authority – government must have the power to enforce their laws. When we talk about power, we mean independent power,” he added.

While backing the call for a creation of state police, the elder statesman faulted the inability of states across the country to exercise authority through a single Police Force.

He explained further that: “A situation where the state governments depend on the one common police force is another contradiction.

“What we mean by true federalism is that the federating units must have sufficient autonomy to manage their own affairs, to govern themselves in matters that concern them. That is what the agitation is all about”.

Nigeria At 57: IGP Advocates Unity Among Nigerians

Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris (file photo)

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has joined well-meaning Nigerians in advocating for a peaceful co-existence and unity among citizens.

In his independence message, the police boss charged Nigerians to demonstrate love by being their brother’s keeper, while giving the assurance that his men wouldn’t relent in ensuring lives and properties are being protected.

“The Personnel deployed are under strict instructions to be civil, polite but firm in the discharge of their responsibilities. They are to pay special attention to places of celebrations, public places and other locations where people will gather to celebrate the Independence Anniversary.

“Sustained surveillance and proactive crime prevention strategies will be adopted, while the ongoing raids of criminal hideouts, black spots, identified troubled spots and other vulnerable points to remove criminal elements will be continued throughout the period.

“While congratulating our Dear Nation, Nigeria and the good people of this great country on the occasion of the 57th Independence Anniversary, the Inspector General of Police implores Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper and demonstrate love, as well as promote harmonious co-existence with our fellow Nigerians,” he said.

The IGP further directed all Assistant IGP across the various zones to identify flash points and work with the respective Commissioners of Police so as to build confidence.

He added, “Consequently, Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police in charge of Zonal and State Commands have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to be personally on ground to deploy and supervise Police Personnel on visible police patrols and police presence at strategic locations and other identified flash points within the cities, and along the Highways and Major roads in all States of the Country and FCT to build confidence of safety in the people residing everywhere in the country,” according to a statement signed by the force’s spokesperson, ASP Jimoh Moshood.

Reps Form Committee To Reunite Nigeria

The Federal lawmakers on Tuesday resumed plenary and the session involves discussion about various national issues.

Various national issues including the unity of Nigeria, 2017 budget, the controversial NGO Bill, among others, were issues deliberated on at the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives, during their sitting on Tuesday, set up an ad-hoc committee to meet with various stakeholders across the six geopolitical zones for practical solutions to ensure the unity of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: National Assembly Resumes Plenary After Seven-Week Break

The motion, proposed by the House Majority Leader, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila and unanimously adopted by the House, follows the welcome address of the speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.

The House also agreed to immediately revisit the issue of devolution of powers in the interest of the unity of Nigeria.

Nigeria Is Better When United – IGP

Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris (file photo)

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris has said that the unity of Nigeria is essential as every part of Nigeria has its strength, which if harnessed will make the country greater.

Speaking during a visit to Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu at the state capital in Umuahia, the IGP said it is the responsibility of every Nigerian to keep the country united for the country to experience more progress.

The IGP during the visit also commended Governor Ikpeazu for his role in maintaining security in the state despite agitations by members of Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) which brought much tension to the state.

He also announced the promotion to the rank of ASP, Mr Cyril Nwosu, who lost his life during the clash between IPOB and security operatives.

Governor Ikpeazu in response appreciated the IGP for the effort in restoring peace and curtailing breakdown of law and order in the state.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the administration to ensure the protection of lives and property of Nigerians living in the state.

The governor said Abia will continue to be home to all Nigerians resident in the state. He thanked the IGP for responding to the needs of all parts of Nigeria as peace has been restored to the state through the efforts of the police and other security operatives.

Meanwhile, the IGP said that the police force is not authorized to maim or shot any citizen of the country stating that their role is to enforce law and order in the South East.

Ooni Of Ife Preaches Unity In Yoruba Clan

Oba Adeyeye, Ekiti state, Unity, Ayo FayoseThe Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, is asking all Yoruba sons and daughters, both at home and in the diaspora, to come together and promote unity among themselves.

Oba Ogunwunsi gave the charge during his visit to Ekiti State on Thursday.

The oba explained that his visit was to further promote unity, love and peace between the entire Yoruba race.

He was accompanied by over 30 traditional rulers to Alara of Aramoko in Ekiti, Oba Olu Adeyemi and the Ajero of Ijero Ekiti.

The traditional leader later proceeded to the Ewi of Ado Ekiti , Oba Rufus Adejugbe, where he addressed the entire people of Ado Ekiti.

Oba Adeyeye, Ekiti state, Unity, Ayo Fayose
Ayo Fayose

Addressing reporter in the capital of the state, Ado Ekiti, the monarch also commended Governor Fayose on his achievements in the state so far.

 

He reminded the people of the essential pillar of religion which he said is majorly “the love of God”.

The traditional leader further stressed the need for Yoruba indigenes to see themselves as one despite political affiliations.

The Governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose, who commended the Oni’s visit, said the visit was in the overall interest of all Yorubas.

He also urged them to “continue to be one no matter the level of political crisis in the country”.

Muslim Cleric Calls For Unity, Peace As Nigerians Celebrate Eid-el-Kabir

muslim faithfulsThe 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.