- The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) urges against religious intolerance in Nigeria
- Governor Akinwunmi Ambode wants peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria
- Speaker Mudashiru Obasa pleads with Muslims to persevere and sacrifice
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), on Monday, August 20, congratulated its Muslim counterparts across the country as they celebrate the 2018 Eid-el-Kabir.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CAN’s president, Rev Samson Ayokunle, gave the congratulatory message in a statement signed by his media aide, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, in Abuja.
The CAN president urged all Muslims faithful in the country to remember the sacrificial lifestyle of Abraham as they celebrate.
According to the report, Ayokunle said that they should know that no sacrifice is too great to promote peace, harmony, love, unity, forgiveness and accommodation in their relationships with those who are non-Muslims.
“God must have reasons for allowing both Christianity, Islam to co-exist in the nation.
“We appeal to the adherents of the two religions to embrace peace and love.
“Once this is done, most of the ongoing killings in Nigeria will become history; after all Christians and Muslims traced their sources to Father Abraham.
“If we are both His children, what joy do we derive in killing ourselves? Abraham was a man of peace and faith, it is high time we followed his footsteps,” he said.
He expressed sadness with some northern state governments who would literally declare war and hatred on Christians.
“For example, most of them have it as a policy not to give Certificates of Occupancy (CofO) to churches with a view to denying them places of worship, when the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) allows freedom of worship and association.
“This is not so in the Christian dominated states in the South. This policy must be discarded to promote peace and unity,” he said.
Ayokunle said that as the 2019 elections draw near, politicians should stop vote buying, violence, blood-letting and other evils associated with campaign and election.
He advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make sure all eligible voters are allowed to register, with no hidden agenda.
“It is regrettable to note that many of our politicians are not aspiring to serve, but to amass wealth at our expense and this is why election has become a do-or-die affair.
“If a political party fulfills what was promised, violence force and intimidation will not be needed to retain the seat.
“May God deliver our country from whatever bondage we are in and may the peace and unity of this country become the watchword of our leaders at all levels,” he added.
This is a period for love, sacrifice and unity - Ambode
Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of Lagos, called on Muslims in Nigeria to embrace the values of sacrifice, love and continue to foster unity as they join their counterparts worldwide to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival.
In his Sallah message signed by Habib Aruna, his spokesperson, Governor Ambode said the period of the celebration was a clarion call for Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of the season such as selfless service to God and humanity, sacrifice and sincere commitment to righteous conducts in their private and public life.
He explained that the significance of the season should be beyond feasting, adding that as Muslims prepare to offer animal sacrifice in the prescribed days of the festival, the real essence should be to encourage piety, self-discipline and sacrifice.
Governor Ambode therefore called on all Nigerians to exhibit these values for the good of the country and shun any act capable of heating up the polity or causing distrust among various ethnic groups in the country.
“As we celebrate this auspicious occasion, let us renew our faith in our nation and implore the Almighty God to restore to us those values that place high premium on human life, love of neighbour and sharing even as we ventilate our faith in the unity of our dear country,” the governor said.
“This period requires more patience, fortitude, tolerance, endurance, patriotism and a greater willingness to make personal sacrifices for the good of all,” he said.
The governor also thanked Lagosians for supporting his administration. He also assured that the government would continue to do its best to serve the people and promote fairness and mutual tolerance among the populace, irrespective of their ethnic religion or political affiliation.
Here are the qualities for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria - Speaker Obasa
Speaker Mudashiru Obasa of the Lagos state House of Assembly, enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to imbibe spirits of godliness, tolerance, perseverance and sacrifice as perquisite for peaceful co-existence in the country.
Obasa, in his Sallah message signed by his spokesperson, Musbau Rasak, said these characters were displayed by Prophet Ibrahim, and wife, Hajarat, in their joint decision to sacrifice their son to keep the covenant the prophet had with God while looking for child.
Obasa, who is also chairman of the conference of speakers of state legislatures of Nigeria, said: “Our strength as a country is in our diversity. We are group of people with varying tribal and religious backgrounds but we are committed to achieving a common purpose which is excellence. Therefore we must eradicate every form of rancor and discord among us.
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“We must understand and respect our differences and we must tolerate one another in order to maintain peace and security of life and properties.
“Let us remain thankful to Allah for good health and well being. When there is life, there is hope for a brighter future. Our challenges are surmountable and our problems have solutions.”
Obasa also enjoined Nigerians to rededicate themselves to service, adding that it is only through dedication to national service that “we can build the desired nation.
“The government is committed to serving the people and ensuring that everyone enjoys the dividends of democracy. We are grateful for your support and cooperation so far but I urge you not to relent in supporting government at all levels.”
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, warned Muslim faithful not to go any extra mile to borrow money just to slaughter ram during the Sallah slated for August 21.
The organisation said it is not accepted in Islam to be extravagant just to celebrate events of the religion.
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