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By Yemi Oluwadare
Former Vice President and APC Chieftain, Atiku Abubakar, has commended Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), for giving a good account of himself in running the affairs of the country in the absence of his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is receiving medical treatment in the United Kingdom.
Atiku who said this in his Eid-el-Fitr message to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting period also urged Muslims to imbibe the lessons of the fast, which include: self discipline and sacrifice through abstention from eating, drinking and sinful acts.
According to Atiku, while Nigerians continue to pray for the quick recovery and return of the President to Nigeria, “Professor Osinbajo has demonstrated strong leadership by moving fast to nip the recent tension in the country in the bud, which arose from the quit notice issued on the Igbos by a Coalition of Northern Youth group and the counter notices from groups from other regions,” Atiku says.
“By moving quickly to invite chief executives of the 36 states, traditional rulers, religious leaders and other leaders of thought across the country, the Acting President has proved himself be a very sensitive leader who demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness at a point the country’s unity was being ominously threatened.”
He adds that Professor Osinbajo’s prompt response to the situation had earned him the respect of many Nigerians, adding that the country cannot afford to toy with its unity when the rest of Africa envies its resilience.
The former Vice President called on Nigerians to demonstrate a greater spirit of tolerance and firmer commitment to peaceful coexistence, which he describes as the prerequisite for unity and love in Nigeria.
“Abstention from eating and drinking should go a long way to create empathy from the rich towards the poor, making the well to do appreciate the conditions of millions who go hungry because of poverty,” the Waziri Adamawa said. “I urge well-to-do Muslims to identify with ordinary Nigerians who go without food almost every day, and to be more concerned about what to do to improve their plight.”
He also urged all Muslims to extend the lessons of the fasting period beyond the Ramadan.
Speaking on Nigeria’s current challenges, the former Vice President called on his fellow Muslims to be good ambassadors of Islam by demonstrating the spirit of tolerance, love, respect for others and firmer commitment to peaceful coexistence.
Atiku noted that Nigeria’s diversity should be translated into love, and religion should be a vehicle for cementing love and harmony amongst the people.
“The greatest tribute Muslims can pay to the Prophet Muhammad is to live by his example of a pacifist spirit and tolerance,” Atiku said. “These are the tools with which to strengthen the pillars of Nigeria’s unity. There is no religion in the world that doesn’t preach love, but practice has far greater impact on perception than precept.”