President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Sultan of Sokoto, have called for more understanding, unity and love among Nigerians to move the nation forward.
The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, urged Muslims to use the opportunity of his birthday to reflect on the teachings of the Prophet, who lived a life of piety, prayer and service to God and humanity.
Buhari also urged the adherents of the Islamic faith “to rededicate themselves to upholding the injunctions of the Holy Quran in their personal life and in their relationships with others.
The Senate President in a goodwill message to celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, said just like the birth of the Holy Prophet in Mecca ushered in a new dawn for humanity, Nigerians should view the occasion of this year’s Maulud Nabiyyi as an opportunity for a new beginning for the country.
According to him, the country has made tremendous progress in terms of security of lives and property since the last celebration and urged Muslim faithful to use the occasion to further seek the mercy and protection of Allah for all Nigerians.
In his own message, the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, noted that this year’s Christmas celebration was significant as it almost coincided with the December 24, being the birthday of Prophet Muhammed.
The message signed by Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Secretary-General of the Council stated: “We have every cause to celebrate and thank the Almighty God for the opportunity of life and the privilege of survival. At this time last year, Nigeria was under a lot of tension with the national conscience being tormented by the apocalyptic prediction of 2015 being the end of our corporate existence.
“Now that the year is ending and we remain united, it is as if God Himself wants us to learn through the near coincidence of the births of our revered Prophets, Jesus and Muhammad.
“As you traditionally celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25, the Muslims mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad on December 24, this year being the 12th day of Rabiul Awwal.
“The message inherent in this near coincidence appears to be unity and mutual understanding. Therefore, the season of our double celebrations is an opportunity for us Nigerians especially to learn more about our two religious personages and rededicate ourselves to their true teachings.”
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in his sallah message urged Muslims to emulate Prophet Muhammad’s shining virtues of compassion, tolerance and commitment to peace.
The former Vice President noted with sadness that the activities of some misguided elements around the world “are inconsistent with the virtues for which Muhammad was famous, such as respect for life, tolerance and avoiding violence against the innocent.”
Also, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, enjoined Muslims to follow the exemplary leadership of the Holy Prophet by promoting peaceful co-existence among the various segments of the society.