President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have congratulated Muslim faithful across Nigeria on the successful completion of the month-long Ramadan fast.
In a statement by their media advisers, Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan, the leaders of the chambers of the National Assembly called for sustained prayers for peace in the country.
Saraki noted that in spite of Federal Government's appreciable efforts in combating the challenge of insecurity, it is imperative for Muslim faithful to utilize this period to pray fervently for peace and unity in the country.
"We have just ended a month long fast thus paving way for the Eid-el-fitr celebrations. These two periods are such times that the Almighty Allah enjoined us to ask for his blessings. We should therefore seize the opportunity to pray for the country and its leaders," Saraki said.
“Eid-el-fitr is a time of love and goodwill. It gives us a message to love all and hate none. Despite numerous challenges in the country, 'hope is not lost. Only tolerance, stronger sense of patriotism and love for one another will help the country surmount her present socio-economic challenges," he added.
On his part, Speaker Dogara enjoined them to sustain the lessons of Ramadan and replicate same in their daily lives for a better society.
He also called on Muslims not to be carried away by only the pageantry of the Sallah celebration, but to use the occasion for sober reflection and extend gestures and hands of support to the needy in the society as well as to pray against the current security and economic situation of the country.
The Speaker emphasized the importance of peace, unity and tolerance amongst the diverse people of the country for the envisaged growth and development to take place, noting that the heterogeneity of Nigeria should be a source of strength rather than conflict.
"As you join the rest of the Ummah all over the world to celebrate this year's Eid el-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, I enjoin you to replicate and demonstrate in your daily lives the lessons and virtues of sacrifice, forgiveness, piety, self-denial and genuine love towards one another which you learnt during the month- long fast".
"This is indeed another moment of celebration and sober reflection. And apart from reflection, I urge you to also take out opportunity, cashing on the spirituality of this festive period to offer special prayers for the nation against the backdrop of the current security and economic situation and to lift up our people before God, especially the downtrodden - those Who struggle to make ends meet as well as the leadership of this country- from Mr. President, the Vice President, the Leadership of the National Assembly, the Governors down to Local Government Chairmen and councillors for God to grant us wisdom and give us understanding and for Him to open up doors of opportunity so that we will be able to meet the expectations of the people".
While pledging the commitment of the House of Representatives to initiating legislative interventions to overcome the many challenges in the country, Dogara used the occasion to urge Nigerians, irrespective of their persuasions to cement the bond of unity and brotherhood as a people of common destiny and contribute meaningfully in the quest for building a peaceful and united country.