Eid-el-Fitr: Pray For Our Leaders, Economy – Gov Bello | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Eid-el-Fitr: Pray For Our Leaders, Economy – Gov Bello

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello
Posted: Jul 6, 2016 at 8:10 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chinwendu Nnadozie

Minna – Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has appealed to citizens and Nigerians in general to bear with the current hardship in the country saying that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has good plans for the country.

Governor Bello who expressed optimism that the present economic hardship would soon be a thing of the past spoke shortly after the two rakaat prayers to mark the end of Ramadan to commemorate the year 2016 Eid el-Fitr at Minna Eid praying ground.

Bello who joined the former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubarkar and other Muslim faithful for the two rakat prayers said though the hardship was not entirely peculiar to Nigeria, there are better days ahead for Nigerians in the short time to come.

“The present economic situation in the country is a phase that will soon be history. Our leaders at various levels are committed to finding solution to the on-going economic hardship caused by global economic recession.

“For us in Niger State, we are meticulously fashioning programmes and policies that will bail us out of the woods, set the state on a threshold of economic buoyancy and put the state on sound economic pedestal.

“Currently we are re-tooling avenues for internally generated revenue (IGR) to reduce our dependence on federation allocation. Sooner than expected, our economy shall bounce back,” he stated.

He added, “I want Nigerians to remain prayerful and always commit our leaders to Allah’s guidance and wisdom to enable them in all three tiers of government to proffer enduring solutions to the nation’s present economic predicaments.”

Governor Bello also enjoined Muslims in the state to be vigilant, security conscious at all times, and to continue to exemplify the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan in relating with both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Gen. Abdulsalami Abubarkar, former Military President, in his goodwill message, prayed for continued peace among the diverse ethnic nationalities in Nigeria while expressing hope that Nigerian Muslims would imbibe the teachings of the season, which hinged on peace and sacrifice.

Governor Bello was later accompanied by General Abdulsalami Abubakar and other members of his administration to the Hill top residence of General Ibrahim Babangida, the former military President,  to felicitate and to wish him happy Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.

This years’ Eid el-Fitr celebration was generally peaceful though low-keyed in parts of Niger State but for some others it was the worst Sallah as they could not join their loved ones in the festive season due to the disappearance of Minna-Kaduna bound locomotive train which left scores of passengers stranded at the Minna terminal.

The Minna to Kaduna bound mass transit train was taken to Lagos at the instance of the national headquarters of the corporation for repairs but was said to have been brought back few days ago preparatory to conveying passengers to Kaduna. However, that was not to be and nobody was ready to explain to passengers the reason for the change in schedules.

The passengers who converged at Minna railway station to board the train to Kaduna, according to investigations were informed after waiting for hours that the train was no longer in operation as the engine for the MTT to Kaduna was still in Lagos.

Some passengers had told our correspondent in an interview that they heard that some of the train coaches had been taken to Zaria in Kaduna State for another purpose, a development they described as very unfortunate as courtesy demands that they should have been informed before now to avoid scuttling their plans for the Sallah festivities.

The commuters who are now reading political undertone of the developments lamented what they termed, ‘political interferences and attempts to close completely the route’ just as farmers among them have decried lack of access roads to transport farm produce if the disappearance of the train is anything to go by.

The stranded passengers mostly women and children all looking famished and frustrated having waited for the arrival of the locomotive throughout the night lamented that they had been denied the opportunity of celebrating the eid-el-fitr with their families.

The passengers therefore appealed to Nigeria Railway Corporation and the relevant Federal Government agencies to as a matter of urgency intervene and ensure return of train services from Minna to Kaduna in order not to be cut off from the rest of the world as train remains the only means of transport to them.