Pray for Nigeria’s unity, governors, emir tell Muslims

Governors have congratulated the Muslim Ummah in their states on the sighting of the moon which signifies the commencement of this year’s Ramadan fasting period.

The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, urged citizens of the state to use the period to pray for the state and Nigeria in general.

“I wish to congratulate the Muslim Ummah for witnessing another month of Ramadan and to wish them a blessed and peaceful Ramadan.

“The holy month of Ramadan, for millions around the world, has always been an opportunity to renew and strengthen their faith through rigorous fasting, devout prayers, reading of the Quran, reflective meditation, and carrying out of charitable deeds.

“All these acts closely conformed to the universal values that the Islamic faith promotes namely, peace, kindness, love and respect for others,” the Governor said.

On his part, the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, urged the Muslim faithful in the state to use the period of Ramadan to pray for the unity and peace of Nigeria.

He made the appeal in a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Mr Humwashi Wonosikou, on Thursday, in Yola, the state capital.

“We thank the Almighty Allah for sparing our lives to witness the 2023 holy month of Ramadan.

“May our act of Ibadah throughout the month and beyond be accepted with great blessings and the ultimate reward,” Fintiri said.

According to the governor, Ramadan is a period for sober reflection, a period that Muslims must move closer to God.

“It is, therefore, an opportunity for us to increase our supplications to God for the unity of the country and for peace to reign in our dear nation,” he said.

Also, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo, in his message to Muslims, urged them to use the Ramadan period to exhibit the best virtues that Islam teaches.

Sanwo-Olu, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, on Thursday, implored Muslims, as well as Christians and other religious groups to demonstrate love, tolerance, empathy, compassion, and peaceful coexistence during the period, which coincides with the Church Lenten fasting season.

He said, “I want to congratulate Muslim faithful across the world, especially in Nigeria and Lagos in particular, on the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan. As we begin this holy month today, I pray that Almighty Allah will grant us good health and strength to observe the fasting and other acts of worship associated with it.

“I want to also urge Muslims and Christians as well as other religious denominations to avail themselves of the teachings and serenity that the fasting season affords to cleanse their hearts, enrich their souls with virtues, and dedicate themselves to the good of humanity and the development of Lagos State and Nigeria.

“Let us also use this period to commit ourselves, our dear Lagos State, and our country to serious prayers for peace, development and growth as we prepare for the May 29 handing-over ceremony at the federal and state levels. We should also pray for continuous peaceful coexistence among all ethnic and religious groups in our state.”

The Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, urged Muslims in the state to emulate the sacrificial living, self-control and intercessory supplications as enshrined in the teachings of Ramadan.

In a message he personally signed, Adeleke reminded them that the fasting period was one of self-reflection, intended to deepen one’s spiritual growth and renew a sense of appreciation for the many blessings of God.

The governor said, “In this spirit of thanksgiving and reflection, all of us observing Ramadan can strengthen our sense of commitment to equality and development of our communities. It is a time to offer help to those in need and serve as an immutable emblem of holy life.

“As residents of Osun State, we are all blessed to live under a government that fosters religious liberty and respects the religious practices of all. Our laws and history ensure Muslims can observe this period in accordance with the dictates of conscience and without detractions.

“It is also a period our dear state looks up to Muslims for unimpeded prayers at this period and in a renewed sense of unity, purpose and desire for a better society.”

The Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Olayinka Oyebode, urged Muslims in the state to pray for the stability of the country as they observe Ramadan.

Oyebanji said, “We all must be grateful to Allah for being alive to witness another Ramadan season. I urge my Muslim brothers and sisters to use the opportunity of the Ramadan period to pray and seek the face of Allah for peace, progress and prosperity of our dear state and country.

“May Allah accept our prayers and may the holy month usher in abundant blessings for the faithful and restore peace and prosperity to our dear state and country,’ he said.

He said that the state would witness a remarkable level of progress, peace and prosperity through prayers and cooperation of the people.

In his goodwill message to mark the commencement of the Ramadan fast, the Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Yahaya, stressed the need for all and sundry to play their roles in finding new directions toward fixing the problems bedevilling the country.

According to a statement made available by Director-General, Press Affairs, Ismaila Misilli, the governor admonished Muslims to embrace piety as demanded of them during the month-long fast.

He said, “As one of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan fast avails the Ummah a golden opportunity for spiritual rejuvenation and devotion through supplication and other acts of worship.”

He added, “We, therefore, must use this opportunity to pray fervently for our dear state and the nation as well as for those in authority as we collectively battle to combat the many socio-economic challenges facing our nation and humanity.”

On his part, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, urged Muslims to extend charity and support to the underprivileged throughout the fasting period.

He spoke on Wednesday night at a joint meeting held by the Ilorin Emirate Council and the Council of Ulama, held at the ancient palace of Ilorin.

“As we commence this year’s Ramadan fasting, the annual Ramadan lecture (Tafsir) will commence at the Madrasatul Sheik Alimi inside Emir Palace on Monday 27th of March 2023 beginning from 10 am daily,” the Emir added.

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