Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his family on Thursday joined other Muslim faithful to observe Eid al-Fitr prayers at the presidential villa in Abuja.
The Nigerian leader was joined by Service Chiefs, top government officials, including Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno.
Prayers were also observed across the country.
In his message, the Chief Imam of the State House Mosque, Abuja, Sheikh Abdulwaheed Sulaiman, noted that the insecurity challenge in Nigeria was a test from God and expressed the hope that unity, peace, and the fear of God would prevail in Nigeria.
Earlier in his Eid-el-Fitr message to Nigerians on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari urged both Muslims and Christians to unite and jointly pray against tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry.
President Buhari also called on Muslims and Christians to unite and jointly pray against tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry in the country.
He also called for practices that promote brotherhood and forgiveness noting that unity and solidarity among all citizens are imperative, especially at this time when Nigeria is faced with multiple challenges.
A statement issued on his behalf by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, Buhari said: “On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood, and love amongst all.
“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims, and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.
“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.
“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.
“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”
Local media reports on Thursday quoted President Buhari as saying in the statement that it was noteworthy and delightful to see “Christians breaking fast and in some instances, extending goodwill and gifts to Muslim faithful during the Ramadan”.
“This model also shone through with Muslim groups joining Christian festivities. These are practices that promote brotherhood and forgiveness,” the Nigerian leader said.
He urged Nigerians to continue to observe all the COVID-19 prevention measures and celebrate responsibly during the holidays.
The celebration is low key in Nigeria due to the re-imposition of restrictions to check the spread of the virus.
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