…. May 29 handover date sacrosanct
Pardon me if I’ve hurt you, President tells Nigerians
…Sultan to politicians: accept outcome of election in good faith
…Sanwo-Olu, Others urges faithful to uphold lessons of Ramadan
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed his readiness to receive Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to the State House as President on May 29.
The President also declared that the handover of power from him to the President Elect on that date is sacrosanct.
Buhari and Tinubu spoke on the phone to exchange pleasantries on the occasion of the Eid el Fitri.
The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said his principal assured Tinubu that he was ready to welcome him as his successor in the Presidential Villa on May 29.
“President Muhammadu Buhari and the incoming President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Friday morning exchanged Eid greetings in a phone call to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,” Shehu said in a statement.
“Both leaders thanked God Almighty for seeing this day and prayed for the stability and the wellbeing of the nation.
“President Buhari expressed his readiness to welcome Asiwaju Tinubu to the State House as President on May 29th.”
And fielding questions from journalists at the Eid grounds in Abuja after the Sallah prayers, Buhari said Nigerians have fully embraced and demonstrated their love for democracy, hence the handover of power to Tinubu is not negotiable.
“Nigerians appreciate the stability of democracy,” he said.
“The outcome of the elections, in which more than 10 governors failed to make it to the Senate, sent a clear message that ordinary Nigerians know the power of their votes and how to use it.
“Nigerians cherish democracy. They have shown their love for it and will defend it against real or perceived threats.
“They will continue to vote one way or the other depending on their preferences.”
Reiterating the sanctity of the handover date, the President said, “God willing, nothing will stop it.”
Buhari, who later hosted the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja community as part of his last Sallah celebration as President in the Villa, apologised to those he might have hurt with his actions during his eight years in the saddle.
Buhari, while tendering the open apology, also pledged to be far away from Abuja after his tenure to avoid distracting his successor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“There is no doubt I hurt some people, and I wish you will pardon me and those that think that I have hurt them so much. Please pardon me,” he said moments after returning home from the Abuja Eid grounds where he had joined other residents for the Sallah prayers.
Buhari told his guests, led by FCT Minister Mohammed Bello, that God has been kind to him, having served the country in various capacities.
He said once his tenure is over next month, he will be as far away from Abuja as possible to allow the incoming administration run without any interference from him.
He said: “I think this is a very good coincidence for me to say goodbye to you and to thank you for tolerating me for more than seven and a half years now.
“I assure you, I have deliberately arranged to be as far away from you as possible, not because I don’t appreciate the love you’ve shown to me, but because I think I’ve gotten what I have asked and I would rather quietly retire to my hometown.
“Having been a governor, minister and president twice, I think God has given us an incredible opportunity to serve as your president, and I thank God for that. So, please, whoever feels I have done wrong, we are all humans.”
He said he could not wait to go home after eight years as president.
His words: “I can’t wait to go home to Daura. If they make any noise to disturb me in Daura, I will leave for Niger Republic.
While thanking Nigerians for tolerating him since 2015, Buhari described himself as lucky to have led Nigeria in various capacities.
Describing democracy as the best form of government, Buhari said without it, he could not have been President, having already served as military head of state and given the side of the country he hails from.
His words: “I am counting the days. Democracy is a good thing, otherwise how can somebody from the other side be a president for two terms? My home town to Niger Republic is eight kilometres.
“I honestly consider myself very lucky. I was made a governor, minister of petroleum, head of state in uniform, then after three attempts, God, through technology and PVC, I became president.
“I tried in 2007, 2011 and 2015 and ended up at the Supreme Court three times.”
He took a swipe at those who claim they cannot get justice at the courts, recalling that all the Supreme Court justices that heard all his election petitions were not only from the north but were also Muslims, yet he lost.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari, Senator Philip Aduda, Christian Association of Nigeria Chairman in the FCT the Reverend Timothy Amakum and Umaru Shagalinku, the man who started one of the oldest restaurants in Abuja, were also at the Sallah homage.
In his remarks during the FCT residents’ homage to the president, FCT Minister Bello thanked the President for hosting the delegation and allowing more people into the Villa for the last homage before his handing over on May 29.
Bello said the conceptualization and realization of the FCT was historic and deserved commendation, reminding Buhari of his role as part of the military Recce Team for the capital in the 70s.
The Rev. Amakon thanked God for using Buhari to transform the nation and to maintain peace and development of the country.
He prayed that God will continue to strengthen him even after he leaves office to continue to play the role of an elder statesman.
The cleric also prayed that God will help the incoming administration to continue the great work of the Buhari administration.
He commended the Minister of FCT for the good job he has done and prayed that Christians and Muslims will continue to co-exist peacefully.
Accept election outcome in good faith, Sultan tells politicians
More goodwill messages also came yesterday from political and religious leaders on the occasion.
In his goodwill message, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, appealed to politicians currently seeking redress at the various election tribunals to accept the results of the last general elections in good faith.
“The elections have come and gone, people should go ahead with their routine activities peacefully. Politicians seeking redress in courts should take the outcomes in good faith and support whoever emerges for the sustenance of peace, unity and development,” he said.
Abubakar, who appreciated the Almighty Allah for the successful completion of Ramadan fasting by the Muslim Ummah across the country, added: “As mankind, we always appreciate the Almighty Allah for the gift of life and good health to be among those that will celebrate this great day.
“During the period of Ramadan, we have learned a lot from our scholars. We should continue to sustain those lessons to be part of life. Our generosity to the less privileged among us should be maintained in order to enhance our relationship and sustain our love for one another.”
He felicitated with all the Muslims across the country and prayed for the elected leaders to succeed in delivering their campaign promises to the citizens.
He also prayed for the sustenance of peace, unity and peaceful coexistence, while urging leaders to fear Allah in the discharge of their responsibilities.
CAN calls for mutual understanding, peace among Christians, Muslims
In its own goodwill message, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) urged Nigerian Muslims and Christians to continue to live in peace and mutual understanding.
The President of CAN, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, said both faiths share a lot of good virtues in common and their adherents must use their understanding of the Holy books to promote inclusivity, and work towards building a more tolerant and egalitarian society for us all.
Praying for continued blessings of God for the President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the entire Muslim Ummah in Nigeria, Okoh said: “Ramadan is a time of self-reflection and a renewed commitment to living a life of piety and peace. It teaches us the importance of sacrifice, compassion and generosity towards others, especially the less privileged in our society.
“As we mark this important occasion, we must take the opportunity to reflect on the lessons of Ramadan and the values that it teaches us, which is love for one another and mutual understanding for a peaceful society.
“As we celebrate the Eid-el-Fitri festival, we call on all Nigerians to use this occasion to pray for our beloved country, for peace, and for the prosperity of all our people.”
Let’s keep to the lessons of Ramadan for a stronger, happier nation, APC tells Nigerians
In a similar message, the All Progressives Congress (APC) asked Nigerians, especially the Muslim Ummah, to adhere to the lessons of the just concluded Holy Month of Ramadan with a view to building a stronger and happier nation.
The party in the message signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Felix Morka, hoped that the lesson of the holy season “will strengthen our resolve to pursue and attain higher and transcendental ideals, and help us rededicate to more wholesome and patriotic living.”
He said: “As we celebrate, may we show more love, respect, compassion, empathy and tolerance towards our fellow citizens irrespective of religion, ethnicity and social circumstance, and demonstrate greater faith and hope in our country’s future of assured greatness, especially with the Renewed Hope agenda of the incoming administration of our President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“May the blessings of Eid endure in our lives and nation. Eid Mubarak, dear compatriots!”
APC National Chairman advises Muslims to continue to be peaceful
National Chairman of the Party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, advised Muslims across the country to continue to imbibe the attribute of peace and live together in peace and harmony with other Nigerians.
“My message is for us to continue to live in peace with ourselves because it is only peace that enhances anything we want in this life,” he said.
He warned that peace was very crucial in achieving any goal in life, because without it, no progress can be achieved, hence the call to the Muslim Ummah and other Nigerians to imbibe the attribute of peace for the attainment of set goals.
“See what is happening in Sudan. You need to be there to appreciate what it means not to have peace on a day like this.
“So we thank God Almighty for being merciful to Nigerians and that in spite of everything, we enjoy relative peace and we are able to observe this day of Eid-el-Fitr this year in a very peaceful atmosphere,” he said.
Justice is very important -PDP
In its own goodwill message, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged adherence to the principle of justice and effort at national regeneration.
“The Holy Ramadan offered our nation the divine opportunity for serious introspection, especially on issues of the fear of God, integrity, accountability, adherence to set rules and constitutional order as well as respect for the rights, personal freedom and will of the citizens in a democratic setting,” National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, said.
He added: “Nigerians, especially leaders, must reflect on the essence of Ramadan and use the occasion to reawaken the virtues of selflessness, honesty, self-restraint, fair-mindedness, mutual respect, forgiveness, love and compassion for one another without regards to ethnic, sectional, religious or partisan considerations as this is the only way to achieve the much-desired politically stable and economically viable nation.”
The party said it was deeply saddened that Nigerians were still under siege by terrorists and being subjected to living in fear, misery, anguish, abject poverty and excruciating economic hardship.
Continuing, the PDP said: “It is more saddening that effort by Nigerians to instill a purposeful, honest and responsible leadership is being sabotaged by oppressive forces desperate to impose themselves against the will of the people. “
Ramadan, period of rejuvenation, says Lalong
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong said the period provided a fresh opportunity for Muslims to carry out spiritual rejuvenation and acts of charity that are in tandem with the message of Prophet Mohammed.
He said the celebration of Eid el Fitr is not only significant to Muslims alone but provides an opportunity for people of other faiths to share in the joy and essence of the moment.
According to Governor Lalong, the event should help Nigerians to reflect on love, tolerance, peace and good neighbourliness which are virtues that are enshrined in the teachings of the two major faiths in the country.
Sanwo-Olu urges faithful to uphold lessons of Ramadan
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged Muslims in Lagos State and across Nigeria to continue on the path of spirituality and peaceful co-existence.
He said:”The Holy Month of Ramadan is very significant to Muslims across the world as one of the major pillars of Islam, which teaches abstinence from worldly pleasures, steadfastness in prayers and total submission to the will of Allah according to the Quranic injunctions.
“I want to admonish all of us that we shouldn’t allow all the prayers and fasting during the Holy month go to waste.
“Please, let us all continue to live in that state of grace. Let us continue to imbibe and show that something important has passed through us and let it reflect in our words, our lives and our relationship with fellow human beings.
“We should not limit the goodness of our deeds to Ramadan period alone; we must make the lessons and acts our ways of life.”