The Federal Government, the President noted, is committed to making necessary changes to improve living condition in the country, stating that “this is the only way future generations will not pass through the pains we are passing through today.”
President Jonathan, who received the traditional Sallah homage from top Federal Government officials led by Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed, regretted that “even during this holy period, we still have incidences of violence and bombings happening here and there,” stressing that “without peace, no new investment would come into the country.”
Addressing the delegation, President Jonathan said: “I thank all of you and welcome you to the State House that you have come to pay the traditional Sallah homage. It is a period that we are all expected to live in peace. But as a nation, we have our challenges. Even during this holy period, we still have incidences happening here and there.
“So, I use this opportunity to plead with all of you, and indeed all Muslims in any part of this country, to continue to pray for peace of this country because without peace, we cannot develop as a nation.”
The President added: “If the country is not peaceful, nobody will want to come and invest. Without investment, you cannot stimulate the country’s economy; we will continue to live in poverty. The government is totally committed to making changes, to improve the condition of living of our people so that future generations will not pass through the pains we are passing through today.
“This particular year, 1432 Izra, coincides with our own 2011. As we all know, this is a very significant period in your religion. There are similar teachings in the Christian faith. It is a period that all of us are supposed to be dedicated, submissive to Allah, just like the whole ceremony of the ram killing, which depicts that Allah owns everything or we can sacrifice everything to Him; and He can provide everything that we need as long as we live in the ways that He expects us to live. It is a significant period.
“As I welcome and congratulate you this morning, I also want to use this opportunity to extend same to all the Muslims in Nigeria and indeed Muslims all over the world. We thank Allah for bringing us to this day that we are celebrating this year.”
Vice President Sambo, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said: “We are here this morning to pay homage and sincere greetings of this great month of Eid-el-Kabir, which we call Sallah period. We prayed Almighty Allah to shower His blessings graciously on Mr. President, on all other leaders of this country and Nigeria in general.
“We also pray that Allah will bless this country, will allow our great President to lead us into the transformation of Nigeria to be one of the greatest nations on Earth.
“We pray to Almighty Allah that we will have peace, unity and progress in Nigeria. And He will continue to grant our President good health, wisdom and strength to continue with the good leadership that we are already witnessing in this country. We thank the Almighty Allah for granting us this chance and pray for more of such periods.”
In his Sallah message, the vice president also condemned last Friday’s terrorists’ attacks in the North-East.
He said: “Let me seize this opportunity to join Mr. President in condemning in totality the unwholesome act committed by some disgruntled elements to our innocent citizens in Damaturu, Yobe. I commiserate with the families of the deceased and pray for the repose of their souls.”