As Muslims mark Eid-al-Adha, leaders have urged Nigerians to embrace, peace, justice and be law abiding to attain economic and social development.
Imam Mohammed Zakari, the Chief Imam of the Eastern Naval Command Central Mosque, Cross River State, southern Nigeria, made the call at the end of Eid el kabir prayers held at the NNS Victory parade grounds in Calabar city.
Zakari, who also slaughtered the sacrificial ram before the congregation, said “today marked the day Allah gave Prophet Ibrahim a trial, which he passed and he was given a ram to sacrifice in place of his son. This is a lesson for us as Muslims and for all Nigerians because I know this is also in the bible”.
“The lesson here is for us to be self-sacrificing in all our doing. We should be honest with ourselves; the people should be honest with government and governments at all levels need to be honest with the people as well. Again, we all need to be careful and security conscious, being our brothers keepers because we are all one”, stressed the Imam.
He explained that the slaughtered ram must be shared with family, friends and to the less privileged as instructed by Allah.
Also, Sariki Salisu Lawan, the Chief of the Hausa-Fulani and Muslim Community in Cross River, stated that the lessons hinges on unity, peaceful co-existence, justice and sharing with faithful and others.
Lawan said “regardless of our ethnicity and religion, the Holy Prophet encourages us to be united with everyone, humble, be charitable, love one another, show kindness to all people and generally celebrate together. Islam does not encourage discrimination, partiality and quarrels. We all must be peaceful”.
The Sariki suggested to Muslims and Hausa-Fulani tribes residing in other States to tolerance, noting “my grandfather came here, he established this community, Bogobiri. My father was born here and so was I. My children were born here and this is my community and we have lived here peacefully with the indigenes for years. We are united and feel at home here in Calabar”.
“So, I will encourage other Hausa-Fulani communities elsewhere to be tolerance and peaceful. Peace makes it possible for us to do business and for our businesses to thrive. We all need peace to develop our economy irrespective of religion and tribe”, stated Lawan.
Meanwhile, Professor Ben Ayade, the Governor of Cross River State, also called on the Muslim communities and other Nigerians to pray for peace in the nation rather than pursue a revolution, saying “I use this opportunity to charge Nigerians to seek peace for our development. I appeal to those who want a revolution in this country to, please, have a rethink”.
He argued “Nigeria is stronger together, Nigeria is better together. The challenges Nigeria is facing is the same challenges every developing country goes through. But, we can see that there is hope in the horizon”.
“So, we pray for unity of the country, we pray that our diversity becomes our strength and that at the fullness of time, the country will be happy. I wish all the Muslims of my State a happy Eid el Kabir”, prayed the Governor.
Several families were observed at strategic recreation centres in Calabar metropolis taking pictures with their families and friends.