He said though Eid-el-Kabir is a Muslim festival, Nigerians of all faith and creed should regard themselves as partakers, in the best tradition of religious tolerance and harmony.
“I salute Nigerian Muslims on yet another glorious celebration of Eid-el-Kabir, with its symbol of community love and feasting in the sharing of the sallah ram,” he said. “But I believe every Nigerian that subscribes to faiths and creeds that stress brotherly love is a partaker.”
Tinubu said Nigerians, particularly Muslims and Christians, must emphasise the similarities, rather than differences, of the two faiths; and understand that Muslims and Christians are kith and kins; and not enemies.
“This festival celebrates the complete faith in Almighty God by Ibrahim (Abraham in Christianity), when God asked him to sacrifice his only son, Ishaq (Isaac in Christianity). The reward of this unquestionable faith in God is what we celebrate today in Eid-el-Kabir,” Tinubu explained. “We should celebrate that the two great religions come from the same source; and use that commonness to unite and build our country.”
Tinubu urged governments at all levels to locate poverty as the trigger of many crises that often assume the colouration of religion, and work hard to solve the poverty problem.
“Mass poverty, not differing faiths, is the greatest challenge to national unity and peace. So, if we solve the poverty problem, we will automatically take care of the most pressing of crises” he reasoned. “So, let every tier of government dedicate itself anew to offering accountable leadership that focuses on conquering poverty, deepening development and prosperity and giving our people the good life.”
He appealed to those perpetuating violence under the guise of religion to seek the face of God and halt the mass slaughter of innocent souls.
“We must reclaim our country from mass and senseless violence. We must stress the unity of our people under one God. We must insist on justice and equity. If we do all these,” he added, “our national narrative would change for the better: for we would have attained peace based on justice and equity, which will propel our nation to its manifest destiny as a proud, respected and prosperous member of the comity of nations.