NSCIA asks Muslims to hold special prayers for Yar’Adua

MUSLIMS across the country have been directed to hold special prayers on Friday, May 14, 2010, in their respective Jumat services for the repose of the soul of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), which gave the directive in a statement in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, urged that the occasion be used to pray that Allah would console the family of the late President and the entire nation.

The statement by the NSCIA’s Secretary-General, Lateef Adegbite, described the late Yar’Adua as “a very transparent and honest man whose transition is a great loss to Nigeria”.

It added: “He meant very well for Nigeria and saw himself as a servant-leader. He was President of the whole country, which made him accord priority attention to the Niger Delta crisis, culminating in the historic declaration of amnesty for the militants and the adoption of series of developmental measures for the area. This led to the suspension of hostilities and dousing of tension in the area”.

Adegbite observed that the former President “not only injected much moral capital into the polity but also insisted on probity in governance at all times”.

Meanwhile, foremost American boxing promoter, Don King, has sent a goodwill message to President Goodluck Jonathan while paying condolences to the government and people of Nigeria over the death of former President Yar’Adua.

King said he considered himself a strong member of the Nigerian family following his long-standing association with Nigerians.

His words: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing on of President Umaru Yar’Adua, whose leadership provided great hope for the Nigerian people.

“He was a beacon for the promise of what Nigeria can achieve. My thoughts are with his family members and the citizens of Nigeria. I love Nigeria and I love the Nigerian people”.

King, who met with late Yar’Adua and the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja during a visit to Nigeria in 2008, said he was highly impressed during his interaction as both showed genuine love for Nigerians”.

King said he was sure that the new President would carry on with the good plans laid out by his predecessor, asking Nigerians to rally round the Jonathan Presidency as the country counts down to its 50th anniversary.

He added: “My great friend and Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, as well as Sports Ambassador, Sumonu Bello-Osagie, introduced me to President Yar’Adua and the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan during a visit to the Presidential Villa. We immediately formed a bond of brotherhood and respect because I could see they were dedicated to the betterment of their country and its people.

“Having met with these leaders, I know their aspirations and goals for a better Nigeria will live on to be achieved in the future. During this time of mourning and reflection, I call on the Nigerian people to unite and keep hope alive for a better Nigeria.

“The people of Nigeria should rally round their new President, Goodluck Jonathan. There would be no better tribute to and commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Nigerian independence in October than for an orderly transition to President Jonathan to take place.

“This would show the world that this great African country is committed to unity, solidarity and togetherness while pursuing the country’s vast potential through peace and harmony”.



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