President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders release a message on the need for patience and hope in face of the current economic hardship Nigerians are going through as Muslims mark the Eid el- Kabir celebration today.
The leaders called on Muslims to demonstrate the spirit of peace, tolerance, unity and forgiveness in their day to day activities and extend the virtues to the larger society for the betterment of the country. They also urged them to eschew bitterness and hate on the basis of faith.
President Buhari in his message assured Nigerians that his administration would get the economy right by the grace of God. The President said: “As you celebrate the Eid- El-Kabir, I salute your steadfastness in spite of the difficult economic times the country is going through.
“The lessons of the Eid are piety and sacrifice and, my dear brothers and sisters, you have exhibited these in equal measure. “The present recession is as a result of cumulative effects of worldwide economic downturn and failure in the past to plan and save for difficult times. It is impossible to separate the present from the past to appreciate the extent to which mistakes of the past are affecting everyday life today.
“I assure you that this administration is working round the clock to remove the hardships the country is going through. Rail and road constructions, projects in the housing sector, support for farmers and for small and medium scale industries, youth and women’s empowerment programmes, support for revival of industries are all designed to reinvigorate the economy and enhance living standards of ordinary people. “We are getting security right. We are stopping corruption in its tracks and we will get the economy right by the Grace of God.
“I enjoin Muslims to live by the dictates of Islam, to keep good relationships with their Christian brothers and sisters and as patriots to maintain the spirit of the Nigerian nation. I wish everyone happy holidays.” In other messages Senate President, Bukola Saraki said despite the current economic challenges, the country and its people had all that is required to come out better and stronger.” Truly, times are tough, but we are a tough people too,” he said.
His predecessor, David Mark urged Nigerians to renew their indomitable spirit and rise up to the current Socio- Political challenges and economic recession.
“No one can pretend or shy away from the realties on ground that our country is facing hard times. What is required now is to confront the challenges honestly,” he said.
The Speaker of the Houseof Representatives, Yakubu Dogara noted that peaceful coexistence and understanding as well as sustained prayers among citizens were essential in the face of the current economic and security challenges in the country which are not insurmountable.
He lamented the pains the citizens were undergoing currently which are occasioned by decades of maladministration and the near collapse of a mono product economy.
He however, expressed confidence that the diversification drive of the present Buhari’s administration coupled with its fiscal discipline and transparency would return the nation to the path of true development and prosperity.
State governors including Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Sokoto; Umaru Tanko Almakura, Nasarawa state; Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed said the prevailing economic challenges bedeviling the nation will be short lived and Nigeria returned to path of growth and financial stability.
“We may be facing tough challenges now, but I believe they are just for the short term. Measures put in place by government will have positive impact in the medium and long term,”Tambuwal said.
The governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Kogi state, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, Osun State and Nyesom Wike, Rivers State stressed the need for compassion, respect, kindness, love, generosity towards one another adding that this would strengthen the collective endeavour to attain and sustain a harmonious, peaceful and cohesive society.
Socio-cultural groups like the Arewa Consultative Forum have words of advice for leaders and followers alike.
The ACF appealed to leaders at all levels of government in Nigeria to not only be God fearing and responsible in discharging their duties but also show compassion and love.
“Nigeria is in a trying period of economic recession and security challenges, hence the need to fervently pray for peace, stability and prosperity,” it stated.
The forum called on government to put in place palliative measures that wouldalleviate the hardship being experienced by the citizenry due to the economic recession
The ACF in a statement by its national publicity secretary Muhammad Ibrahim urged Nigerians to unite in prayers, patience and understanding in this period of Eid el Kabir celebration.