By Chimezie Godfrey
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to put the interest of the country above selfish interests and “use religion as a motivation for the love of our common humanity.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu revealed this in a statement made available to Newsdiaryonline.
In his Eid-el Kabir message to Nigerian Muslims and other citizens, President Buhari said that “if we are putting the teachings of our religions into practice, most of the evils afflicting our society would have been solved.”
According to the President, “religion shouldn’t just be used as a mere badge of identity, but as a motivator for doing good for our country and humanity.”
He explained that “the exploitation of the people by traders and the stealing of public funds by civil servants and other holders of public trust is a reflection of the abandonment of the teachings of our religions.”
“Our society is a bundle of contradictions. People display external religiosity without fear of God; they make life difficult for others; money becomes their god; leaders abandon their oaths of office by taking money meant for the welfare of the people and divert it to their private pockets,” he said.
President Buhari congratulated the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria and the world on the occasion of the Eid, citing for special mention, “the brave men and women in uniform fighting terror on many fronts and their families, as well as others held hostage and kept away from their families by wicked and heartless terrorists.”
He used the occasion to call on all Muslims to reflect on the significance of the sacrifice epitomised by Eid.
According to the President, “We should show love and care to our neighbours and others while celebrating this spiritually important event in our lives.”
President Buhari also advised Muslims “to promote the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practice,” adding that “Muslims should avoid association with violent extremist ideas that have wrongly given Islam a negative image or poor perception.”
On the current security challenges and costs of living in the country, President Buhari assured Nigerians that “I won’t rest until I bring relief to Nigerians,” adding that “I am quite aware of the difficulties people are facing and working to resolve them.”
The President hope that this Eid will be a source of blessing, peace, prosperity and safety for all Nigerians, stressing that coexistence and stability will prevail in the country.