Niger State Acting Governor, Comrade Yakubu Garba, has urged Nigerlites to use the period of this year's Eid-el-Kabir festival to promote peaceful coexistence.
Comrade Yakubu Garba stated this while speaking to journalists shortly after the two Raka'at Eid prayers presided over by the Chief Imam of Minna, Mallam Ibrahim Isah Fari, at the Minna Eid praying ground on Wednesday.
He described the Eid-el-Kabir festival as an important act of Islamic religious worship that symbolises the believer’s faith, trust, and obedience, as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to fulfil Allah's command to sacrifice his son, Isma'il.
He said that the festival goes beyond animal sacrifice, stressing the need to appreciate the fact that faith and trust in Allah and obedience to His commandments were the foundation of the relationship between man and his creator, Allah SWT.
"As we mark the 2023 festival of sacrifice, I urge you all to imbibe the lessons that underline the celebration, which essentially reinforces the spirit of sacrifice, tolerance, sympathy, empathy, devotion to duty, and the promotion of harmonious coexistence.
"As patriotic citizens, we all need to use this occasion to renew our commitment to the pursuit of peace, unity, progress, and the overall development of our state and nation," he added.
The acting governor also used the occasion to reiterate the commitment of the Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago-led administration to curb insecurity in the state and improve the livelihood of the people. He identified the security of lives and properties, the welfare of citizens, infrastructural development, and urban renewal as the key priorities of the administration.
While calling on all Nigerlites to give their maximum support to the present administration in the state, he equally expressed sincere appreciation to Allah SWT, the traditional and religious leaders, as well as all the people of the state, for giving them the mandate, adding that with the support, encouragement, cooperation, and understanding of the people, they will ensure that the state becomes one of the most economically viable and peaceful in the country.
He equally urged all Muslims to go about their celebrations peacefully and report to the nearest law enforcement agents any suspicious act capable of breaching public peace.
Similarly, in his Sallah message, the former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami A. Abubakar, who also attended the Eid prayers, observed that no government will succeed without the support of its citizens, adding that everyone has a responsibility that, if taken care of by doing what is right, will make the state and the country better.
The Acting Governor was accompanied to the Eid prayer by the Secretary to the State Government, Alh. Abubakar Usman Gawu; the Chief of Staff to Governor Umar Bago, Hon. Abdullahi Usman Gbatamangi; a former political adviser to the immediate past Governor of the state, Alh. Nma Kolo; the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Alh. Akilu Musa Kuta; and a host of other permanent secretaries and government officials.
Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has urged Muslims to imbibe the virtues of love, obedience, and sacrifices in this Eid-el-Kabir, as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.).
In a Sallah message by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mal. Bologi Ibrahim, the governor, stressed the significance of Eid-el-Kabir to Muslims and called on them to use the occasion to deepen their faith and submission to the will of Allah.
He noted the economic difficulties occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy and appealed to the people to show understanding and confidence in the present administration at all levels as efforts were being made to roll out palliatives to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.
Governor Umaru Bago charged the Muslim Ummah to remain devoted to their religion and show kindness and tolerance to foster harmonious co-existence in society.
"I congratulate all Muslims on the celebration of this year's Eid-El-Kabir. I call on you to imbibe and reflect on the great lessons of the festival of sacrifice, which are the hallmarks of Islam.
"As you celebrate, show piety, and make a personal sacrifice to the common good and collective interests of the people", he said.
The governor also wished all Nigerlites on Pilgrimage a successful exercise and urged them to pray for peace, unity, and development of the state as well as be good ambassadors of the state while in the holy land.
While praying for improved security and peace in the state in particular and Nigeria in general, he reassured citizens of his determination and commitment to building a new Niger State where peace, unity, growth, and development will be the order of the day, as captured in his administration's policy thrust.
He urged the residents of the state to continue to support his administration's policy thrust, which covers Security, Education, Science and Technology, Agriculture, Healthcare, Commerce, Tourism, Infrastructure, women and Youth development, among others.
Governor Umaru Bago also prayed to Allah to accept the prayers and sacrifices of the faithful and accompany their daily lawful businesses with boundless blessings.