-From Mike Sogbola:
Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara has called for prayers for those in the trenches fighting Boko Haram.
This is just as his Yobe state counterpart, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni called for prayers for improved security, unity, peace and socio-economic development of Nigeria.
Professor Babagana Umara, in his Eid-el-Kabir message, said the festival should be dedicated and used to offer to soldiers, other armed forces, the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes who despite the festivities, are currently in front lines, making sacrifices in fighting Boko Haram insurgents.
He said many are currently engaging Boko Haram through ground and air operations, particularly around northern Borno, in a continued determination to fully regain peace, and they need to be prayed for by all.
In the Sallah message, sent to our e-mail by the Special Adviser on Public Relations and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau, the governor said: “With the Eid-el-Kabir being about faith and sacrifices in obedience to Allah, citizens should without losing focus on spiritual essence, also reflect very deeply, that even as we all gather in exciting congregations, share moments with our loved ones, exchange visits and gifts with families and friends, there are soldiers, policemen, other armed forces in the paramilitary and the DSS, volunteers from the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes who are in war fronts sacrificing their safety, sacrificing proximity to their loved ones and sacrificing all the Sallah excitements mainly to ensure that those of us who celebrate the festivities, do so in an atmosphere of sustained peace.”
He said: “As we celebrate, each of us owes these patriotic soldiers, other armed forces and volunteers portions of our time to remember and pray that Allah keeps all of them safe and make them consistently victorious over the Boko Haram insurgents.
“Beside prayers, I appeal to citizens to share whatever they can with families of fallen soldiers, policemen, civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes within their reach, in recognition and appreciation of the sacrifices made by their bread winners to help in Borno’s desperate search for peace.”
The Governor also urged citizens to remember that there are thousands of fellow brothers and sisters, who are celebrating the Sallah outside their communities as a result of displacement inflicted by insurgents.
He said: “Thousands of orphans; hundreds of old and weak women and men will be celebrating the sallah as displaced persons in government camps within Nigeria and as refugees in republics of Niger, Cameroon and Chad. We owe them prayers for permanent peace and restoration of livelihoods in their communities so that insha’Allah, this will be their last Sallah as IDPs and refugees. Aside prayers, we owe them support. I appeal to citizens to extend kinds gestures to displaced persons within their reach.”
Meanwhile, the governor of Yobe state, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni, in his Eid-el-Kabir message sent in from Saudi Arabia where he is presently performing the Holy Pilgrimage, asked that: “As part of the lessons of the Eid, we should emulate the examples set by Ibrahim and Ismail (AS) by sacrificing for the good of society and by obeying Allah’s commandments wholeheartedly.”
He said: “We should therefore strive for the attainment of a happy society where we are all our brother’s keepers. This will serve to strengthen our quest for a harmonious, peaceful, disciplined, and just society.”
“I urge all our citizens to continue to uphold the ties that bind all of us either as Muslims or followers of other religions together by showing and exhibiting the well cherished values of respect, kindness, love, generosity and faithfulness in furtherance of our collective wellbeing,” Buni said.
He added that: “I wish to stress that our administration will remain focused and committed to implementing programmes that will take our State to the Next Level in keeping with the policy pronouncements that I made earlier.
“I urge all our people to work with commitment, dedication and make meaningful contributions to enable us collectively build a very robust, vibrant and prosperous State, where all of us will be proud to belong and proud to live in.”
The governor further said that: “In order to achieve our objectives of post-insurgency rehabilitation and peace building following the security challenges that we have faced, I appeal to our citizens to remain vigilant and report the movement of any suspicious individuals or groups to security agencies.