President Muhammdu Buhari, the Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, have urged Muslims to enjoined good neighbourliness, remain selfless and continue emulating patience, endurance and virtues of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
They urged the Muslim faithful to emulate the virtues of patience and endurance demonstrated by Prophet Mohammed (S. A. W) when he migrated from Makkah to Madinah in 622 CE, after enduring persecution from Makkah pagans.
The trio while rejoicing with the Muslim Ummah in Osun,Oyo and Nigeria in general on witnessing the first day of the Muharram 1443 (Islamic New Year) said such attributes and conduct was needed for development and peace to take centre stage across the country.
Buhari urged Muslims to reflect on the importance and historic significance of the Hijrah and the overall teachings of the Holy Prophet and follow his examples.
“On the occasion of the Islamic New Year, and the commemoration of the Hijrah, I urge Muslims and other citizens to imbibe the lessons of compassion, peace, and support for one another. I wish all Muslims a blessed year,” the president was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday.
On his part, Makinde, through a statement by his spokesperson, Taiwo Adisa, urged Muslims to relive the significance of the occasion and what Hijrah represents in the lives of Muslims.
He said: “Let us recall that the Islamic year began with the migration of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) and his companions from Makkah to Medina in 622 CE after he was commanded by Allah to leave the city of Makkah, his hometown where he and his adherents were persecuted, victimized and oppressed, for Medina.
“Their only sin as alleged by the idolators of Makkah at that time was their firm belief in the supremacy and oneness of Allah and their rejection of the worship of any deity other than Allah.
“Without the endurance and patience demonstrated by Prophet Mohammed (SAW), only Allah (SWT) knows what would have been the place of the Prophet today. So, the essence of that historic endeavour is to enable Muslims know that after every period of difficulty comes relief and happiness.
“Therefore, as we begin a new Islamic calendar, I admonish my Muslim brothers and sisters to continue to demonstrate the virtues of patience, endurance and strong belief in Allah (SWT) and to continue to make supplications for our great State and Nigeria, that Allah (SWT) may give us relief after all the challenges we are faced with.”
Makinde, who also sought for the continued support and cooperation of the Muslim Ummah and all residents of the state, pledged that his government would continue to make life more meaningful to all residents of the state.
He reiterated the administration’s commitment to the ongoing socio-economic transformation and infrastructural revolution in the state.
He said: “On the part of this pacesetter government, I pledge that we shall continue to make life more meaningful to all the people of Oyo State through policies and programmes that are godly and humane. Once again, I congratulate our Muslim brothers and sisters and our community,” the governor said.
On his part, Oyetola urged Muslims and Nigerians in general to always propagate good virtues, promote love, brotherliness, tolerance and peaceful coexistence and have no recourse to geographical, ethnic or religious boundaries in the interest of peace and development.
He also appealed to Nigerians, particularly Muslim Ummah, to take advantage of the Hijrah celebration to offer prayers for the peace, progress and sustainable development of Nigeria.
Represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Abdulah Binuyo, at the grand finale of the 1443 AH Hijrah celebrations organised by the Osun Muslim Community, the governor bemoaned the pocket of challenges facing the country, saying with divine prayers, collective will and determination, Nigerians would overcome.
He said that the time has come for the citizens to pursue goals capable of setting the country on the path of greatness and socioeconomic turnaround as envisioned by the nation’s founding fathers.
According to him, every citizen must strive hard to be ambassadors of harmony and peaceful coexistence, and reflect the virtues in their daily conducts and interactions with one another, as preached by the three most popular faiths in the state.
He said: ” We must place utmost premium on the unity and security of the country because without love, unity and security in the country, nothing much in terms of development can be achieved. Though the challenges we face as a country are huge, with divine prayers, collective will and determination, we shall overcome them and make our country great.”
While felicitating Muslims across the globe on the occasion of this year’s Hijrah celebration, Oyetola urged them to reflect on the significance and lessons of the season by drawing moral and psychological lessons from the Prophet’s journey from Mecca to Medina and demonstrate same in their conducts and daily affairs.
“We must also use this period to reflect on our deeds and activities during the past year, abandon our bad habits, and rededicate ourselves to the worship of Almighty Allah. This is one of the essence of Hijrah. I urge all Nigerians irrespective of their faith, to continue to live together harmoniously and peacefully with religious tolerance and understanding.
“I also enjoin us to take advantage of today’s celebration to offer prayers for the peace, progress and sustainable development of Nigeria, the governor added.
He appreciated the leadership of the Muslim community and the entire Muslims in the state for their unflinching support and prayers for his administration just as he assured them of his government’s commitment to continue to implement programmes and projects targeted at improving the quality of lives of the people in the state.