President Goodluck Jonathan has felicitated with all Nigerians of the Islamic faith as they commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad today, urging them to pray for peaceful elections.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, in Abuja on Thursday, said that as they celebrate Eid-el- Maulud which has fallen on a Friday this year, Jonathan urged Muslims across the country to offer special Jumat prayers for successful and peaceful elections next month.
The president reassured Muslims and all other Nigerians that the Federal Government would do all within its powers to ensure that the general elections in February are free, fair, credible and violence-free.
He called on all Muslims in the country to seize the opportunity of the New Year and Eid-el-Maulud holidays to reflect on the need for a greater application of the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings of piety, charity, tolerance, justice and peaceful co-existence with others in an effort to overcome current national challenges.
Similarly, Senate President, David Mark said on Thursday that the year 2015 would mark a turning point in Nigeria’s political history, urging Nigerians to join hands to boils a united nation.
Mark, in a message on the occasion of the Eid-Maulud celebration, said Nigerians needed to show love to one another to build a united country.
He asked religious leaders across the divide to always preach love, peace and unity and harp on those things that largely bring Nigerians together as one people with a common destiny and heritage.
Also, the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun urged the Muslim Ummah to use the opportunity of the holiday to reflect on the state of the nation and preach peace as exemplified by the life and teachings of the holy Prophet.
Amosun, in a message by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Olufunmilayo Wakama, reiterated the need for continued prayers and peaceful coexistence as the general elections approach.
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, also in a release by his Director of Media and Communications, Mr Steve Ayorinde, urged every Nigerian of the Islamic faith to offer special prayers for the peace, progress and continued unity of the country.
In the same vein, the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, in a statement by his media assistant, Ibrahim Garba, greeted Muslims on Maulud Nabiyy celebration and urged Nigerians to continue to pray for the well-being of the country.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, on Thursday, directed all police formations to be on alert as Muslims observe Eid el-Maulud celebration to forestall security breach.
The directive was contained in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu.
The IGP urged all Muslims to emulate the lifestyle of the holy Prophet by being kind and accommodating to their neighbours and everyone they come across.
According to the statement, “The IGP has ordered all commands and formations of the Force nationwide to remain at alert and ensure the security architecture put in place are improved upon to ensure adequate protection of life and property.”
While acknowledging the hard work of officers and men as exhibited during the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year festivities, the IGP directed all officers to be more professional in the course of discharging their duties so that the citizens could have a hitch-free holidays and Eid-el Maulud celebrations.