Acting President Osinbajo joins Muslims for Iftar

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo joined the Muslim faithful Thursday evening to break the fast at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Osinbajo, who was in Maiduguri, Borno State, North East Nigeria earlier Thursday where he flagged off the distribution of grains to Internally Displaced Persons, flew back to Abuja in time for the breaking of fast.

Significantly, Thursday’s breaking of fast, organised at the instance of the wife of the president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, had Christians and people of different ethnic groups in attendance.

In his remarks after the breaking of fast, Professor Osinabjo commended Mrs. Buhari for organising the event.

He said Mrs. Buhari organised the event to celebrate the unity of Nigerians “as brothers and sisters, our unity as Muslims and Christians and as people of different ethnic groups and different ideas.”

“She thought that it was important that during this occasion of the fast we should come together,” the acting president said, adding that “this type of gathering is important for us as a nation.”

Osinbajo condemned the activities of some people who go about seeking relevance and notoriety by promoting division, hate and parochialism.

“Many are making hate-filled pronouncements, deriding the faith of others and saying things that could incense others,” he said, pointing out that  “the purveyors of hate and division, whether it is along ethnic lines or religious lines generally appeal to the basest instinct of any human being.”

He said such notions that promote ethnicity and religions were hypocritical and used by people to advance personal interests.

Greater Purpose

Professor Osinbajo said God has brought the different ethnic nationalities in Nigeria together “so that we can build a community that will be an example to the entire world.”

“I strongly believe that this country that has the largest black population in the world, the largest economy in Africa and all of those largest and best is not a mistake,” he said, insisting that by coming together Nigeria is a weapon in God’s hand to defeat all evil and those who plan evil for the country.

In his welcome remarks, Nigeria’s Minister of the Interior, Lt. Gen. AbdurRaham Dambazzau, who represented the wife of the president, thanked Nigerians for their prayers for President Muhammadu to return from his medical vacation.

He thanked Christians who came for the breaking of fast for showing solidarity to their Muslim brothers.

Goodwill messages came from the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, on behalf of the Muslim faithful, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Professor Salihu Shehu and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, who was represented by the Vice-President, North Central, Reverend Israel Akanji.

According to him, the greatest nations and organizations follow a fundamental law of God that all men and women are created equal and that “anytime people act in accordance with that law of unity, they record great success.”

He said: “What our country needs today are men and women who are honest, who are patriotic, who believe in this country and who want to do something to advance this country.”