President Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President David Mark, House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, and governors yesterday rallied Nigerians to the task of nation building by living up to the tenets of their religious beliefs.
The president and others, in separate messages to mark the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir today, urged them to pray for the nation and to be tolerant of others.
According to Jonathan, Nigeria will develop faster if its people resolved to “live up to the highest ideals of our religious beliefs including the fear of God, willingness to make personal sacrifices for the collective good, selfless service, respect for laws and constituted authority, honesty, justice, equity, fairness, dutifulness, peace and harmonious co-existence with others”.
He also used the occasion to congratulate Nigerian hajj pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise despite the initial crisis arising from the deportation of some female pilgrims for not being accompanied by male chaperons on the pilgrimage.
He said although the problem had been resolved, he had ordered a thorough post mortem of the incident to prevent a recurrence.
He said: “Nigerians remain a people of great faith with the vast majority of our people professing belief in God either as Muslims or Christians.
“I believe therefore that we should all seize the opportunity of the Sallah season and the public holidays to reflect on how we can bring the ideals and virtues of our religious beliefs to bear on the positive resolution of the many challenges facing us as a nation.”
Jonathan, in addition, called on Nigerians to donate generously to the national relief fund established to cushion the effects of the flood that had ravaged many states and led to the destruction of property and displacement of about one million people.
“I have already announced a relief package of close to N18 billion and constituted a national committee to raise more funds to help victims of the floods.
“In the true spirit of our major religions which enjoin us to be generous to the needy, I urge all Nigerians who can do so, to donate munificently to the national relief fund for affected persons and communities,” he said.