Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has rejoiced with Muslim faithful pp across the country on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir festival, urging them to celebrate moderately in the wake of the rise in cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor equally called on Nigerians, especially Muslims to imbibe the lessons of the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim and work for the unity and progress of the nation.
Sanwo-Olu made this call in his Eid-el-Kabir message released on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr Gboyega Akosile, congratulating Muslims in Lagos and enjoining them to continue on the path of spirituality and peaceful co-existence.
The governor said Eid al-Adha became a symbolic event in the history of mankind, giving the bountiful rewards that followed the patience and perseverance of Prophet Ibrahim, who held on tenaciously to his faith in God despite being afflicted.
He, therefore, urged Lagosians to draw lessons from the prophet’s examples by eschewing tendencies that could severe the unity and stability in the country, saying the symbolic Islamic festival is a reminder to all that there would always be great rewards when people had abiding faith and patience in trying periods; being persistent in prayers and tenacity in their belief.
“Today, I join millions of people around the world, to wish our Muslim brothers and sisters in Lagos State and in Nigeria happy Eid-el-Kabir, which comes with significant lessons for mankind. For Muslims, today’s celebration is very unique.
“This symbolic Islamic festival is a reminder to us that, there will always be great rewards when we have abiding faith and patience in trying periods; persistence in prayers and tenacity in our belief.
“It also reminds us of the sacrifice we are expected to make not only for the purpose of spiritual fulfilment but also for the progress of mankind and development of our society,” he said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also reminded Nigerians, especially Lagosians of the need to reflect on the new reality caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, saying it had altered the way the citizens lived, work and celebrate.
“Traditionally, Eid-el-Kabir is marked with fanfare, where thousands of worshippers head to various designated praying grounds in their localities for special Eid prayer, followed by festive gatherings, visits to families and friends, gift exchanges, feasts among friends, neighbours and relations.
“However, these activities, which are a reflection of joy and happiness of the season, cannot hold this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let us reflect on the last four to five months of our lives as individuals, as a state and as a nation. We should also remember our health care workers, and thousands of COVID-19 patients who would have loved to be at home to celebrate with us at this moment,” the governor stated.
Sanwo-Olu also enjoined Nigerians to support the government’s efforts in building a nation that would work for all, adding that the need to keep Nigeria on the path of development was a collective responsibility of all citizens.
He, therefore, wished the Muslim faithful a happy and peaceful Eid al-Adha celebration, adding: “On behalf of my family and the Government of Lagos State, I wish all Muslims a happy and peaceful Eid al-Adha celebration.”
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