By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
Former Lagos governor and All Progressives Congress national stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has spoken against those calling for violence or issuing quit notice to other Nigerians to leave their areas to desist from such.
“Voices calling for violence must be roundly condemned for it is wrong to incite brother to go against brother and neighbour to combat neighbour. Voices calling for secession and break-up are wrong and should not be followed,” he said in his Eid-el-Fitri message to Nigerians at the weekend.
The statement issued on Saturday by Tinubu Media Office and signed by his Media Adviser, Tunde Rahman, is entitled “Eid-el-Fitri Message: The Spirit, Strength of Our Diversity”.
He said the spirit of sacrifice, self discipline, goodwill, justice, tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and compassion inherent in the Ramadan Fast should remain with Muslim faithful to guide their day-to-day interactions and relationships with one another.
Asiwaju Tinubu said in the statement: “For all Muslim Brothers and Sisters and indeed for all Nigerians, may this be a happy and peaceful Eid-el-Fitri.
“The holy month of Ramadan has now past but we dare not allow the spirit and the true meaning behind the holy month also pass. We must keep hold of the excellent and wonderful things the holy month of Ramadan signifies.
“Ramadan is more than a month of fasting. We fast to strengthen our relationship and our appreciation of Allah. We fast to make ourselves better servants of both Allah and our fellow man. As such, we must emerge from the fast imbued with the spirit of sacrifice, self discipline, goodwill, justice, tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and compassion.
“As we enter into the celebration that now follows, these attributes must remain with us to guide, as if by compass, our day-to-day interactions and relationships with one another.
“In this spirit also we must face the travails that confront our nation. As people led by the spirit and strength of our diversity, togetherness and charity towards all, we must also proclaim and declare our support for the unity and genuine integration of all Nigerians under one flag, in one indivisible nation.
“Voices calling for violence must be roundly condemned for it is wrong to incite brother to go against brother and neighbour to combat neighbour. Voices calling for secession and break-up are wrong and should not be followed.
“However, in the spirit of understanding, we must listen to the genuine concerns of our fellow Nigerians so that we may make of ourselves a stronger, more unified and prosperous nation built on a foundation of dialogue and collective purpose.
“We must join hands in order to bring progress. We must decide whether our diversity shall be our strength or our weakness. It is for us and no one else to determine. The lessons of the holy month of Ramadan point to the success of unity not the failure of division.
“Let us move in this way that we may make of ourselves a better people and nation in which all people, Muslim and non-Muslim, may live in trust, peace and justice as Allah would have it be”.