Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Former Nigerian Vice President, has appealed to Nigerians to continue to forge a common resolve and draw strength from one another.
The former Vice President noted that he recognizes the hardship and forced changes in lifestyle that Nigerians have had to deal with following the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the future remains bright.
Atiku who reiterated the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Nigerians, however, said the sacrifice and lessons of the Sallah festivities must not be ignored.
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.”
Atiku urged Nigerians to remain safe and continue to adhere to all COVID-19 protocols.
“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 coronavirus.”
The former Vice President also used the occasion to preach unity, love, and tolerance among Nigerians despite several religious, cultural, and personal differences.
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.”
He then urged the country’s political leaders to implement policies that will positively affect the lives of citizens.
“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,” Atiku noted.