President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, have congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and beyond on this year’s Eid-el-Maulud celebration, charging them to live by the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
They sent their felicitations in separate statements on Tuesday.
The president, in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Ajuri Ngelale, said beyond celebrating the day marking the birthday of the Holy Prophet, the period should be used for deep introspection and fervent prayers.
“Adherents should make deliberate efforts to adhere to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. There are great lessons of devotion, perseverance, tolerance, humility and selflessness that we can all learn from the life of the Prophet,” he said.
Tinubu urged religious leaders to use the period to pray for the country and to admonish their followers to take the appropriate lessons from Prophet Muhammad’s life in their commitment to the country.
According to him: “Nigeria has arrived at an important juncture. While the government is taking all necessary measures to make the country secure and economically viable, we need the full support of the citizenry in the form of patriotism, patience, and prayers. The light is certainly bright at the end of the tunnel.”
Tinubu also urged Muslims celebrating the Maulud festival to extend their hand of fellowship to the needy and vulnerable in the spirit of the season while praying for the country and her leaders at all levels.
Also, Shettima has charged Nigerians to keep faith with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s government.
In an Eid-el-Maulud message personally signed by him, the vice president stated, inter alia: “I wish all Muslims happy and remarkable Eid- el-Maulud celebrations to mark the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ( Peace be upon him) whose teachings, predominantly on tolerance, sacrifice, peaceful coexistence, abstinence, honesty and generosity are engraved in our hearts. The universal truth of the values the Great Prophet stood for remain unmovable.
“As we harp on this memorable occasion to reflect on whatever temporary challenges we may be facing, I implore all Nigerians to keep faith with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, which is targeted at making a difference in the lives of our people.
“We are all part of the vision of a better Nigeria, and we must show astounding resilience in the responsibility of building the Nigeria of our dreams.
“I believe strongly, that with mutual commitment and joint efforts, we will surmount every setback and collectively walk and march hand in hand our great nation to its rightful place and position amongst comity of nations.”
Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 election, urged Muslims to emulate the examples of the noble Prophet Muhammed (SAW) through upholding teachings of honesty, forbearance, tolerance and commitment to peace.
The former Vice President also said it was important for religious leaders to use their positions of influence to spread unity, tolerance, and love for other people of different faiths.
He called on Nigerians not to despair amidst the uncertainties and difficulties they may be going through at the moment, but to be prepared to join hands with other compatriots in the task to reposition and rebuild the country of our dream by manifesting the virtues of compassion and commitment to peace.
“To celebrate the noble Prophet today is to acknowledge the positive impact that his teachings brought to us as Muslim faithful and also sign on to the commitment of following his footsteps
“Therefore, as we celebrate Prophet Muhammed (SAW) today, it is an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the ideals of peaceful co-existence and the absolute submission to the will of the Almighty,” Atiku said.
For his part, Sanwo-Olu implored Nigerians, particularly the Muslim faithful to continue on the path of love, peace, unity, harmony and tolerance in line with the teachings of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, also called on Muslims to work with other religious denominations for peace and sustainable growth and development of Lagos State.
He said: “I rejoice with millions of people around the world, particularly Muslim brothers and sisters in Lagos State and Nigeria on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Maulud, which is the celebration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
“As we celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad today, let us continue to pray and work together for peace in our dear Lagos State and Nigeria. Let us contribute our quota to the growth and development of Lagos State by supporting the incumbent administration to achieve the Lagos of our dreams.
“I want to use this medium to reassure Lagos residents of our administration’s commitment to the delivery of dividends of democracy, good governance and people-oriented programmes through the THEMES+ developmental agenda for Greater Lagos.”
Similarly, Makinde called on the Muslim Ummah in Oyo State to continue to pray for the leadership of the country and the state.
Makinde, who charged the Muslim Ummah to use the blessedness of the occasion to seek the face of Allah for the country and Oyo State, commended them for their support for his administration.
He said: “I congratulate my brothers and sisters in Islam on witnessing the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, the blessed day in which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was born.
“This is another opportunity for us to reflect on the majesty of Allah and the favour He bestowed on Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) among all his prophets and to use the blessings of the period to make supplications for our country and our state.
“As an administration, we value the support and prayers of the Muslim Ummah in Oyo State and we have continued to see the results of their prayers.
“As we move on in our efforts to develop our state sustainably, we will continue to need the prayers and support and we will never take them for granted. Eid Mubarak to everyone.”
Deji Elumoye and Chuks Okocha in Abuja