President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has saluted all adherents of the Islamic faith in Nigeria as they begin this year’s Ramadan fast.
“As they join the global Islamic community in undergoing the spiritual purification of Ramadan, President Jonathan urges all Nigerian Muslims to offer special prayers during the period for greater peace, security, unity and rapid socio-economic development in the country”Presidential Spokesman ,Reuben Abati said in a statement.
The President also called on all Nigerians, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to strive to imbibe in greater measure, the virtues of piety, self-discipline, tolerance, equity, fairness and sympathy for the less privileged which the Ramadan fast promotes.
President Jonathan also urged all persons of the faith who may have been misled by extremists and agents of international terrorism into taking up arms against their fellow countrymen, women and children to re-open their minds, during this Ramadan season, to Islam’s true lessons of love and peaceful co-existence with others.
The President prayed that God Almighty will grant the prayers of the faithful during Ramadan, reward them bountifully and grant Nigeria greater peace, security, unity and national harmony.
He wishedthe Muslim community a successful and spiritually gratifying Ramadan fast.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, in his statement said the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins in the country Wednesday, should be used to pray for peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.
He said in accordance with the virtues of the month, Nigerians should increase their worship by abstaining from the physical pleasures of this life, seeking blessings from the Almighty God and sharing with neighbours and the needy.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said ideals of service and good governance can only make meaning where those in positions of authority see themselves as leaders with responsibility to serve the people.
He said the holy month provides opportunity for Nigerians, especially the Muslim faithful, to rededicate themselves to the pursuit of what is just and right for the common good of Nigerians.
‘Unless and until we insist on what is right for the overall good of our people, our quest for good governance and its derivatives may remain elusive to us a nation,’ the Speaker said
Tambuwal equally urged Nigerians to dedicate their time to acts of worship in order enjoy maximum favor from the Almighty God.
“We must use this holy period to love one another, sacrifice for the overall growth and development of the nation, and cooperate with constituted authorities for the attainment of our national goals.”
Also, Kogi State Deputy Governor,Yomi Awoniyi has called on faithful to use the holy month to pray to Almighty Allah for Kogi State and the quick resolution of the security and other challenges currently confronting the nation. The State Deputy Governor made the call to Muslim faithful in a Ramadan message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abu Micheal. Yomi Awoniyi enjoined Muslims to conduct themselves very well during the holy month so that the State can maximize the spiritual and physical benefits inherent in the month.
He identified good intention, prayers and firmness of purpose in the pursuit of good deeds as
conditions for reaping the benefits of the holy month.
The statement reminded Muslims that Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and urged the faithful to accord it all the necessary attention by being proactive in decisions and actions that will ensure their full participation in the fast.
It also called on preachers to guard their utterances during the fasting period. It urged them to
concentrate on the true teachings of Islam rather than engage in mutual accusation.
“Muslim scholars should instead educate their audience of what is expected of Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan to earn Allah’s blessings,” the statement said.
While noting that the State Government would rely on the sincere prayers of faithful in this holy month,Awoniyi congratulated moslems for seeing yet another Holy month,pray God to see them through.
The party in a goodwill message issued by its Acting National Publicity Secretary, Barr. Tony Caesar Okeke in Abuja also urged “Muslims and indeed all Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s fasting to reflect on Islamic teachings of love, peace, forgiveness and piety” adding that “the nation cannot make any progress unless the citizens imbibe and live by such.”
The party charged Nigerians to shun all acts of wickedness; hatred and bitterness towards one another which it said promote violence, terrorism and hamper economic and social developments in the country.
Urging Nigerians to learn to be their brothers’ keepers irrespective of religion, tribe or political leanings, the party charged leaders at all levels to re-dedicate themselves to the service of the people and shun all forms of corruption as it is certain that the Almighty God will require them to give account of their stewardship at the end of the day.
Euqually,a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, has congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and around the world on the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan.
In a message signed by his Special Adviser, Alhaji Oyekunle Oyewumi, Kalu said the month of Ramadan is the most superior in the Islamic calendar and urged Muslim faithfuls to imbibe the teachings and lessons of the Holy Quran.
He called on Muslims to see this special season as a period of self appraisal, sober reflection and rededication in the service of God Almighty and humanity.
He stated further that in the spirit of the holy month, the whole of the human race should forgive and embrace each other irrespective of tribe, religion, age, sex and colour.
Dr. Kalu charged Muslims to pray for the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.
He wished them a fruitful Ramadan fast with all the accomplishing blessings, adding: “Ramadan Kareem.”