The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar has urged Nigerians to apply the lessons of Ramadan by focusing on the wellbeing of their compatriots.
In statement issued on Tuesday and personally signed by him, Atiku lamented the prevailing poverty and insecurity in the country. He called on Nigerian leaders most especially the newly sworn in governors to always ensure that justice is done in the discharge of their duties.
As we celebrate the end of Ramadan, it is important that we understand that the Holy Month was meant to transform us by taking our attention from ourselves and focusing it on to others.
During Ramadan, we fasted that we might be better able to empathise with the hungry, the poor and the downtrodden. After the fast, we must face the grim reality that Nigeria is now the world headquarters for extreme poverty and the global capital for out of school children population.
We must also face the sober truth that our country faces a bleak harvest because farmers in our food basket regions cannot go to farms due to the spiralling insecurity in those geopolitical zones.
The piety that we have just built up, after a month of fasting, puts us in a unique position to make the personal and group sacrifices that will usher in JUSTICE, UNITY, PEACE and PROSPERITY back in our land, if we remember that Ramadan is a process, not an event.
A process that refines us to live, and be on our best behaviour for eleven months until the next Ramadan.
A process that prepares us to ensure JUSTICE in our communities for everyone, irrespective of their religion, region or inclination. We must not forget the millions of our brothers and sisters that have been displaced by terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. Theirs is a present suffering that can only be dealt with when we have justice in our land.
That is why the Quran says “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both”.
I especially commend this surah to the 29 newly sworn in governors and to those God has placed in leadership positions in the three arms of government at all levels. We must do justice here on earth, because we expect God to do justice to us when we meet with our Maker.
And it is on this basis that I greet all Nigerians and the global Ummah. At the beginning of this most important month, I wished you Ramadan Kareem. Now, I wish you “Eid Mubarak.”
May God bless you and your loved ones and may God bless Nigeria and bring peace back to this land. Amin.
Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007 & Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party.