As Muslims celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) today, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Sultan of Sokoto have called for more understanding, unity and love among Nigerians.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari urged Muslims to reflect on the teachings of the Prophet (SAW), who lived a life of piety, prayer and service to God and humanity.
The President also urged Muslims “to rededicate themselves to upholding the injunctions of the Holy Quran in their personal life and in their relationships with others.
Saraki in a goodwill message to celebrate the event signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, said just like the birth of the Holy Prophet (SAW) in Mecca ushered in a new dawn for humanity, Nigerians should view the occasion of this year’s Maulud Nabiyyi as an opportunity for a new beginning for the country.
According to him, the country has made tremendous progress in terms of security of lives and property since the last celebration and urged Muslim faithful to use the occasion to further seek the mercy and protection of Allah for all Nigerians.
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA),, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, noted that this year’s Christmas celebration was significant as it almost coincided with the December 24, being the birthday of Prophet Muhammed (SAW).
The Sultan, in a message signed by Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Secretary-General of the Council said: “We have every cause to celebrate and thank the Almighty God for the opportunity of life and the privilege of survival. At this time last year, Nigeria was under a lot of tension with the national conscience being tormented by the apocalyptic prediction of 2015 being the end of our corporate existence.
“Now that the year is ending and we remain united, it is as if God Himself wants us to learn through the near coincidence of the births of our revered Prophets, Jesus and Muhammad (SAW).
“As you traditionally celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25, the Muslims mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) on December 24, this year being the 12th day of Rabiul Awwal.
“The message inherent in this near coincidence appears to be unity and mutual understanding. Therefore, the season of our double celebrations is an opportunity for us Nigerians especially to learn more about our two religious personages and rededicate ourselves to their true teachings.”
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar urged Muslims to emulate Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) shining virtues of compassion, tolerance and commitment to peace.
Atiku noted with sadness that the activities of some misguided elements around the world “are inconsistent with the virtues for which Muhammad (SAW) was famous, such as respect for life, tolerance and avoiding violence against the innocent.”
Also, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, enjoined Muslims to follow the exemplary leadership of the Holy Prophet (SAW) by promoting peaceful co-existence in the society.