By Ifeanyi Olannye
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Monday urged the Muslims in the country to pray fervently for Nigeria to achieve greater unity and rise against all forms of violence.
The governor made the remark in his goodwill message to Muslims in the country as they celebrate Eid el Maulud, the birth of Prophet Mohammed.
The News Agency of Nigeria [NAN] reports that the message is contained in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika in Asaba on Monday.
He urged them to follow the exemplary leadership of Holy Prophet Muhammad by promoting peaceful co-existence and offering prayers for the peace, unity and continuous progress of Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria was currently plagued by insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, herders-farmers clashes and agitations which had continued to impede the growth and development of the country.
According to him, funds that the Federal and States Governments would have used for development are being used in combating the crimes and protecting lives and property of Nigerians.
He said that the celebration of the birth of the Prophet should renew the faith and bond of unity among the people irrespective of the diversities.
He specifically urged the Muslims and other religious groups to intensify prayers for needed reforms for a better Nigeria.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I extend our warmest wishes to Muslims celebrating Eid-el-Maulud in Delta, Nigeria and around the world.
’’I congratulate all our countrymen and women on this special day.
“As we celebrate, it is my hope and prayer that we emulate the spiritual lessons in the Holy Prophet’s teachings of piety, love, justice, fairness, equity, peaceful co-existence, tolerance, honesty and dedication to duty.
“As a people with great religious beliefs, if we can imbibe and espouse the Holy Prophet’s teachings, our nation will ultimately benefit from it.
“Let us remember to pray fervently for our nation to achieve greater unity and rise against tendencies offensive to democratic tenets and wellbeing of the country and the people, irrespective of religion or place of origin.
“This is the time for a rebirth in the polity, and I urge all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands in that direction, especially in giving the country a new Constitution that will address all contending issues that are reflective of true democracy and federalism.
“It is my hope that this celebration will bring joy to all your homes here in Delta, Nigeria and around the world,” he said.(NAN).