Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has called on Nigerians to use the opportunity of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir to promote love, mutual respect, peace and tolerance.
Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 elections, said this in a statement he personally signed on Thursday.
He said: “Since February when the incident case of the novel coronavirus emerged in Nigeria, life has not been the same for us all. Our economic and social lives have been seriously disrupted.
“For the first time in living memory, Muslims in our country fasted this year without spiritual acts of worship that accompany the Holy Month of Ramadan, and had Eid celebration devoid of the mandatory congressional prayers. Historically too, this would be the fourth time in all time that the holy pilgrimage of Hajj would suffer restrictions.
“To the glory of the Almighty, the restrictions are being eased. But we are not yet there. There’s still work to be done to ensure that we contain the spread of this virulent disease and rebuild our economic and social life post Covid-19.
“It is important that we continue to prioritise personal hygiene of washing our hands, using face masks, avoiding crowded places and observing social distancing.
“The essence of the Eid el Kabir festivities is a reminder of a life of service as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and encouraged by Prophet Muhammed (SAW). In this season of a virus pandemic, we should acknowledge that part of the sacrifices required of us is adherence to instructions and protocols towards the containment of the spread of the corona virus.
“In the last four months or so, we have been united in our common resolve to beat this disruptor to our lives. We have drawn strength from one another. We have been guided by the dictum that no man/woman is an island, and that a threat to one is a threat to all. Above all, love has in this season of great uncertainty, broken down the walls of divisions that seek to compromise our resolve to stand united.
“And, as Muslims in Nigeria celebrate Eid el Kabir Sallah, it is my hope that we will continue to pray for the country and work assiduously for the promotion of love, mutual respect, peace and tolerance in order to build a stronger and more united country.
“I believe that despite our diversity, we can transform our differences into strength by identifying the common interests and issues that bind us together.
“Yes, we may have been born different, but religious differences shouldn’t be allowed to lead to acrimony and antagonism among fellow Nigerians.
“It is incumbent on all political leaders, too, to increase their connectivity with the ordinary people because if they (leaders) are not in touch with the conditions of the people, it might be difficult to assess the success or failure of given policies.
“May the blessing of Allah fill your life with peace, joy and good health. Barka Da Sallah.”