Buhari, others at Eid-el-Kabir , promise end to hardship
Pilgrims in supplications for nation at Arafat
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday disclosed policies to reduce the hardship of Nigerians amid the current economic recession.
In a Sallah message, the President said his administration would focus on infrastructural development in the areas of rail and road constructions, embark on housing projects, and provide support for farmers and industries.
He also said his government would implement youth’s and women’s empowerment programmes and provide support for the revival of industries, as ways of reinvigorating the economy and improving the living standards of the people.
The President said the recession was a cumulative effect of worldwide economic downturn and failure to plan and save for difficult times.
Noting that times “truly are tough,” Senate President Bukola Saraki, said he had “no doubt that we shall overcome our present economic setback sooner than anticipated, if we all commit to the ideals of nation building.”
Saraki called on the people to pray for peace and for the economy, saying the country had all it takes to emerge stronger from the current downturn.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, to mark this year’s festival, Saraki also enjoined Nigerians to live in harmony, irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliations.
“I sincerely rejoice with all Nigerians, especially the Muslim faithful, on yet another Eid-el-Kabir, which is both a period of sacrifice and obedience to divine guidance, and a time to share our resources with our neighbours, no matter how little.
“It is also a call on all of us to love one another, eschew all forms of violence, adhere strictly to the noble tenets of Islam and peaceful coexistence. We must not relent in being our brothers’ keeper and playing our part to achieve the new Nigeria of our dreams,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nigerian pilgrims yesterday offered prayers for the unity and progress of the country, as they joined their counterparts from other parts of the world to mark the 2016 Arafat. More than 62,000 pilgrims from the country arrived at the plains of Arafat, climaxing the final rites of the pilgrimage.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, called on Muslims to pray for a quick recovery from the economic recession, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to look beyond party affiliation and constitute a “special economic squad,” to rescue the nation from fiscal meltdown.
Ekweremadu said the economic challenges were not beyond redemption, stressing it is time the nation moved away from politics and faced governance, bringing “all capable hands on the deck, irrespective of political, religious or ethnic backgrounds.”
“The good news,” he said, “is that capable hands abound in the country. We must assemble them and give them both the mandate and liberty to help the President’s team, to revamp the economy.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, called on the Moslems to use the period for sober reflection and “emulate the virtues of total obedience, sacrifice in faith and selfless service.”
In a message by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, Dogara regretted the hardship Nigerians were facing. He, however, expressed confidence that the diversification drive of the Buhari administration, coupled with fiscal discipline and transparency, would return the nation to true development and prosperity.
He also restated the resolve of the House of Representatives to work selflessly in the overall interest of the country.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, called on Nigerians to work hard, persevere and pray for the success of policies by the Buhari government. He voiced optimism that the nation would overcome its current economic hurdles.
Similarly, former Senate President, David Mark, urged Nigerians to renew their indomitable spirit for triumph over the current economic recession.
In his goodwill message signed by his Media Assistant, Paul Mumeh, he said: “We cannot afford to give in to failure on account of economic recession. The only option we have is to evolve strategies to overcome the odds.”
“This is not an issue of political allegiance or loyalty. This is the struggle to save our nation. In this battle to salvage Nigeria from economic woes, everyone must be his brother’s keeper,” he added.