President Muhammadu Buhari has said reforming a country like Nigeria that was pushed into near decay on account of corruption comes with teething pains.
He, however, thanked Nigerians for their patience and assured that their sacrifices will not be in vain.
He said this on Thursday as part of his message to Nigerians on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr which follows the sighting of the moon to end the Ramadan fasting.
As a way of appealing to the conscience of Nigerians, the president said the pains being felt by the citizens were temporary, adding that the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, which was privileged to lead, is beholden to the ordinary Nigerians and will leave no stone unturned to make their security, welfare and happiness a priority.
He also stressed the importance of putting the virtues of Islam into practice beyond the fasting season, while congratulating Muslims for completing the fasting successfully.
Buhari spoke through his Media Aide, Garba Shehu, on Thursday night.
“In his Sallah message to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting period, President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the importance of putting the virtues of Islam into practice beyond the fasting season.
“While I congratulate Muslims on completing this spiritually significant month of sacrifice, I urge all to reflect on the importance of Ramadan in becoming good ambassadors of Islam at all times”.
According to the president, “religion should be the moral compass for all believers in their public and personal lives,” adding that “if people allow the teachings of their religions to influence their conducts, problems such as corruption, which diverts public funds to private pockets, would have been eliminated in the society.”
He regretted, however, that “selfishness and greed have overcome people’s conscience so much that they don’t have moral inhibitions in the pursuit of their greed.”
He said “it is impossible to separate morality from religion, and removing this connection encourages corrupt leaders and other exploiters to commit atrocities against the society.”
“I always wonder why any true believer, be they politicians, civil servants or businessmen, would seek to make profits from the misfortunes of others”, the president added.
He also urged ordinary Nigerians to stop glorifying thieves by treating them with disdain for bringing hardships to others.
President Buhari enjoined religious leaders to always pray for peace and unity in the country and avoid making inflammatory utterances that endanger peace or promote conflicts.
Meanwhile, the Senate President Bukola Saraki; Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State governor; Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Senator David Mark and Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, have called for sustained prayers for peace in the country as they congratulated Muslim faithful on the successful completion of Ramadan.
In a statement by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Saraki commended the Federal Government for its effort at tackling insecurity.
“We have just ended a month-long fast, paving way for the Eid-el-fitr celebrations.
“We should therefore seize the opportunity to pray for the country and its leaders,” he said.
Saraki called on Nigerians to use the season to promote national integration, saying “Eid-el-fitr is a time of love and goodwill. It gives us a message to love all and hate none”.
Yakubu Dogara felicitated with the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr.
In a message to the Muslim community in Nigeria, the speaker appealed to the faithful to sustain the lessons of Ramadan and replicate same in their daily lives for a better society.
He advised them not to be carried away by only the pageantry of the Sallah, but to use it for sober reflection.
Dogara said that the faithful should extend gestures and hands of support to the needy in the society as well as pray against the current security and economic situation of the country.
Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State governor, urged Nigerians to imbibe the tenets of tolerance and unity for one another irrespective of their ethnic and religious differences as a pathway of building a strong and united nation.
The governor, in his Eid-el-Fitri message, signed by Habib Aruna, his Chief Press Secretary, said it is only by embracing peace, unity and fairness that Nigerians can begin a rebirth, urging them to imbibe the tenets of love, tolerance, forgiveness and brotherhood which the period of the holy month exemplifies.
According to him, with brotherly love and harmonious co-existence among her citizens above all other things, Nigeria could overcome the numerous challenges confronting her.
Ambode added that in the last three years, despite the seeming economic challenges, the nation had witnessed appreciable level of development expressing optimism that more could be achieved if all hands are on deck.
Senator David Mark has urged the Muslim faithful to use the Eid-el-Fitr celebration to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
The former Senate president, in a goodwill message to Nigerians to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr, said “more than ever before, the country needs men and women of goodwill to promote peace and unity”.
In a statement by Paul Mumeh, his media assistant, the senator urged citizens to continue to uphold the sanctity of brotherhood and good neighbourliness for peace to reign.
Despite the daunting challenges in Nigeria, especially insecurity, he urged the citizens to come together to provide a common solution to the plethora of problems confronting the country.
Senator Mark reiterated that “there is need for all citizens to live in peace and harmony with each other in order to create an enabling environment for development.
Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has congratulated the Muslim community in the country on the successful completion of the month-long Ramadan fasting.
The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji, prayed that Allah should accept their supplications, even beyond the holy month.
While calling for spiritual rebirth among the Islamic faithful, he enjoined them to imbibe the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed on the essence of Ramadan fasting.
Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, has called on Nigerians, particularly Muslims, not to relent in sharing love among themselves despite the end of the Ramadan fasting.
The speaker also advised Nigerians to continue to maintain peace and avoid utterances and actions that can cause disharmony among themselves.
The Lagos speaker’s advice was contained in his Eid-el-Fitr message released on Thursday signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Rasak.
“Ramadan is the period we share love, move closer to God and all try to maintain cordial relationship. As we are celebrating the Eid-el-Fitr in commemoration of the end of the fasting period, we should not abandon all the qualities and virtues we have imbibed during the period,” Obasa said.
According to him, the Ramadan period served as a moment of sober reflection, “the period we collectively decided to abandon vices and embrace virtues. The vital lesson for us therefore is for us to maintain those virtues which are ingredients of a just society.
“We should continue to be our brother’s keeper, share love among ourselves, continue the act of giving during the fasting period and avoid utterances and actions that can cause disaffection and disharmony among ourselves”.
The Lagos Assembly speaker advised Nigerians particularly Muslims to celebrate in atmosphere devoid of hatred, violence and chaos.
“On behalf of my colleagues in the Lagos State House of Assembly, I wish you a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration,” he said.