National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said that sacrifices must be made by all Nigerians to stem hardship in the country and protect legacies of the nation’s founding fathers.
Minister-designate, Babatunde Fashola, also re-echoed Tinubu. The immediate past minister of power, works and housing described the season as time to come together as a people and make sacrifices for the development of the country.
The duo spoke yesterday after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers observed at Dodan Barracks, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Speaking to newsmen, Tinubu said Nigerians should learn to embrace peace, demonstrate love, eschew hate and be tolerant of one another.
He said: “Differentiation and stigmatisation is not going to help the country at this stage of our life as a nation.
“What today teaches is all about sacrifices that we all must make, to really have our prayers answered.
“No one was able to dictate to whom he would be born to, how he would be born and where he would be born. We are proud Nigerians and that is what should be paramount.
“Let us be proud of our country, dedicate ourselves to the growth and prosperity of our country.
“Yes, if we say things are hard, it means we will work harder to make it better, not to destroy what our founding fathers have done and put together in the spirit of one nation and one destiny.”
He advised Nigerians not to forget the part of the first stanza of the old nation’s national anthem which states: “Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we must stand.”
On his part, Fashola, a former governor of Lagos State, said no amounts of sacrifices are too much for Nigeria.
According to him, “this is the time to come together in the spirit of the season.
“This is the time to sacrifice, to get behind our leaders and to come together among ourselves to build our country and make it what we expect it to be.”
Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, reiterated the message of the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Shiekh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla, on ending the security challenges facing the country.
“The imam had said it clearly – enough of all these killings. Enough of these kidnappings and enough of all the bad things.
“So, if anybody says Allah Akbar and you kill somebody, it’s either you are insane or you don’t understand Islam. Islam is a religion of peace.
“So, the message to all Lagosians and to Nigerians is that we must live peacefully. All the religions – Christianity and Islam – preach peace. We should live in peaceful environment.”
According to the deputy governor, without peace, no progress and development can be achieved by anybody.
“So, the fundamental thing is peaceful co-existence among all of us, whether Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo or whatever.
“All of us are Nigerians. We must live in peace and we must unite as a people,” Hamzat added.
Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudasiru Obasa, on his part, called on Nigerians to make sacrifices for the nation to move forward.
“We must love one another and help each other. I believe if we live in tolerance, definitely, we will be able to build a nation of our own.”
The prayer, which started at 9a.m., was led by Shiekh Abou-Nolla, the Grand Chief Imam of Lagos State.
Abou-Nolla said that Islam was against terrorism, violence, wickedness, suicide and killings.
He encouraged Muslims to be tolerant and just.
“Let it come to your knowledge that terrorism, extremism, kidnapping, banditry and killings are all forbidden for Muslims. Islam has taught us to establish peace, justice and righteousness and ensure security of lives and property.
“We urge our political office holders, as a matter of urgency, to further orientate Nigerian citizens on the need for national unity and integration. Nigeria is ours, there can be no place like home,” the cleric said,
He urged leaders to shun corruption and any act that could make people to commit suicide.
“Emphasis should be placed on creating more employments for the teeming youths. Government should review the security architecture of the country and pursue good governance by investing in infrastructure and economic growth programmes,” he said.
Muslim faithful in their hundreds converged at the prayer ground for the religious ritual.
The prayer, which started at exactly 9a.m., was led by the grand chief imam of Lagos State. After the prayer, the cleric led in the symbolic slaughtering of sacrificial ram for the festival