The former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, addressed Nigerian Muslims who mark the beginning of Ramadan.
In his June 17 message Atiku urged people to pray for peace in the country, which currently faces security challenges.
In the statement released by his media aide in Abuja, the politician expressed sadness over the frequent explosion of conflicts and violence, which poses threat to the country’s peace.
Atiku said that Muslim leaders should do everything possible to eliminate the influence of extremists in the life of Muslims.
The Turaki Adamawa lamented that Nigerians had become captives of fear amid the terrorists’ actions. He further called for urgent action to attack the roots of terrorism by attacking the ideology.
He noted that activities of a minority group generated the appearance of negative image of Muslims.
Innocent Muslim disciples should be shielded from the influences of extremist teachers, who might exploit their ignorance and push them into criminal atrocities, Atiku said.
Ekiti state Governor Ayodele Fayose in his Ramadan message urged Muslims to use the period to offer prayers to Allah for the peaceful co-existence of the country.
Goodluck Jonathan, the immediate past president of Nigeria, called on the country residents to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in prayers for the peace and prosperity of Nigeria.
The incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, on his part, noted ahead of the holy month start:
“As we make collective efforts to bring to a permanent end the menace of the Boko Haram in the Lake Chad basin countries, let me use this auspicious occasion to appeal to our misguided brothers to drop their arms, embrace peace and seek a better understanding of Islam during this Holy period and beyond.”
Meanwhile Nigerian Muslims on Wednesday started preparations for Ramadan, as people gathered at Lagos central mosque, Lagos Island, to pray ahead of the fasting. See the photos here.
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