Eid-el-Maulud: Saraki, Okowa, PDP call for peace, unity

I’m not safe, police hostile to my supporters and I -Saraki
Okowa and Saraki

As Nigerian muslims celebrate Eid-el-Maulud, a day to celebrate the birth of Holy Prophet Muhammad, prominent Nigerians have sent messages of goodwill to muslims in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

In general, they preached peace and called on Nigerians to remain united.

Some of the messages are from the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

In a message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki preached unity and tolerance on the occasionof the Eid-el-Maulud.

He urged Nigerians to use the opportunity of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday celebration to show love to one another and imbibe the virtues of perseverance and restraint.

Saraki charged Nigerians, particularly Muslims to always emulate and promote the virtues of Prophet Muhammad which include honesty, love for others and peaceful co-existence.

His words:  “He, Prophet Muhammad preached and lived for peace and was revered and widely followed for his honesty and perseverance.”

The Maulud, he said, would not have come at a better time than when the country was about to conduct elections.

“This year’s Maulud has come at the most appropriate time for Nigerians to use it in praying for peaceful, free, fair and credible elections.

“In all our campaigns, let us strive to live by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad among which is to show respect for one another, irrespective of our political affiliation,” he said.

In his message, while congratulating muslims on the occasion, Okowa called on all to offer prayers for peaceful conduct of the 2019 general elections.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, in Asaba on Monday, the governor enjoined Nigerians, and the people of Delta, especially Muslims, to use the celebration as a period of sober reflection and pray for the peace and unity of the country especially as the nation was entering an election year.

He advised muslims to use the period to reflect on the challenges bedeviling the country and share with one another, to spread the virtues of peace, love and charity which the Holy Prophet represents.

He enjoined Muslims to follow the exemplary leadership of the Holy Prophet Mohammed by promoting and ensuring peaceful co-existence within the society.

While urging Nigerians to eschew ethnic, political and religious tendencies in all their dealings, he urged them to work towards building a secured and prosperous nation.

Okowa said the commemoration of the birth of the holy Prophet should regenerate the faith and bond of unity among Nigerians as one people and one nation irrespective of diversity.

“On the occasion of the celebration of the birth of the holy Prophet, it is incumbent on adherents of the Islamic faith to rededicate themselves to upholding the admonitions of the Holy Qur’an in their personal life and in their relationship with others.

“It is therefore a call on all adherents of Islam and indeed all Nigerians to use the opportunity of the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday to reflect on the teachings of the Prophet, who lived a life of piety, prayer, honesty, selflessness, charity, tolerance, good neighbourliness, justice, equity, fairness and service to God and humanity which are indispensable in our quest for meaningful development and the profitable management of our diversity.”

In its message issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP urged Nigerians to use the celebration to pray for the nation and rekindle “our sense of national unity, fear of God and love for one another as compatriots while shunning all divisive and disruptive tendencies.

The party also urged the people to pray for a new direction and God’s guidance, “particularly as the nation gears up for the 2019 general election to select new sets of leaders at various levels across the country.”

The statement reads further:  “Eid-el-Maulud, the celebration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (S A W), presents to us as a nation with ample lessons in the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, truth over falsehood, peace over strife, love over hatred, piety over depravity, mutual respect over intimidation and harassment, justice over impunity and discrimination and faith over despair.

“The PDP urges Nigerians to use the opportunity of Eid-el-Maulud to reach out and support the needy, the sick, and the deprived, particularly victims of escalated violence and daily bloodletting in various parts of our country in the last three and half years.

“The party also calls on Nigerians not to despair but continue to rekindle their faith in the nation, as the 2019 general election will usher in a new beginning with a new God-fearing and people-oriented leadership that is set to return our nation to the path of social stability, national cohesion and economic prosperity.”