Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Sunday in Abuja led other prominent Nigerians in a national prayers session for peace, progress and the total eradication of terrorism and social vices in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event tagged “National Prayers for Peace and Security’’, Sambo challenged the Muslim Ummah on the need to pray fervently for continued peace and tranquility in the country.
The Vice-President, at the event held at the National Mosque, said the call had become imperative in view of the fact that prayers were a strong weapon against any adversity.
“Let me reiterate that when any adverse situation befell the Ummah during the time of Prophet Muhammad and the Sahabah, their greatest weapon was resorting to prayers to seek for Allah’s intercession.
“We shall continue to organise prayers as frequently as possible and Allah in his infinite mercy will answer our prayers in removing in totality the act of terrorism by the Boko Haram and all other vices in Nigeria.
“Let me at this juncture urge all Nigerians to continue to pray for lasting peace and unity of our dear country,’’ he said.
Sambo called on the Muslim Ummah to promote the ideals of Islam by living according to the tenets of the religion, saying “Islam promotes peace, good neighbourliness and kindness.’’
The Vice-President further enjoined Muslims not to allow “the few disgruntled elements among us to portray Islam and Muslims in bad light’’.
He, therefore, appealed to Muslim clerics to always apply modesty in their sermons and preaching, while calling for adherence to the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed.
Sambo reiterated the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to providing adequate security and ensuring the stability and unity of Nigeria.
On ongoing efforts to ensure the safe return of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, the Vice-President assured that government was doing its best in that regard.
“The government is working assiduously to support the efforts of the military by increasing its capacity in the search for our missing girls and to further secure the territorial integrity of the nation.’’
He expressed appreciation for the support from Nigeria’s neighbours and other African countries in the fight against the scourge of terrorism in the country.
Sambo also commended the UK, France, the U.S., China and other countries across the world for partnering with Nigeria to address the menace of Boko Haram in the country.
While speaking, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal said the National Assembly would do everything within its constitutional powers to support government’s efforts in the ongoing fight against terrorism.
He cited the recent approval granted by the legislature for the renewal of the emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
“This is a clear example of National Assembly’s support and co-operation in the fight against terrorism in the North East zone of the country,’’ the Speaker said.
He, however, called on the Federal Government to look into the possibility of relaxing the emergency rule in the affected states during the forthcoming Ramadan period.
“This is to enable the Muslims perform the fasting ritual hitch-free,’’ Tambuwal said.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who also spoke at the occasion, stressed the importance of justice, equity and fairness to the maintenance of peace in every society.
He urged Muslims, especially those in leadership positions, to shun corruption and any act which would affect the development of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prayers were offered by various Muslim clerics from all over the country for continued peace, unity and the development of the country.
Goodwill messages from Islamic organisations and religious leaders were also delivered at the occasion, which was organised by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).