The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) congratulates all Nigerians especially the Muslim faithful as they celebrate the Eid el-Kabir festival and charges them to earnestly pray for peace, progress and development of the country. We are particularly glad because the spiritual exercise is coming at a time the country is going through a terrible economic quagmire that appears to have defied all wisdom and logic.
As we celebrate, though at a very key, we urge you to go beyond the religious deeds and begin to tolerate one another. Religious activities alone do not move a nation forward. What moves a nation forward is patriotism, tolerance and love for one another. If we do not change our attitude the challenges confronting the country will never come to an end. We all must submit to the will of Allah in the belief that only Him can help to overcome our challenges no matter how difficult they may appear.
Eid-el-Kabir celebration marks the end of the annual Hajj to Mecca where rams are slaughtered in the name of Allah, giving away one-third of the meat to friends, neighbours, the poor and the needy. The purpose of this celebration is partly defeated as we have made more enemies than we have made friends and every of our neighbour has become a suspect. Our once peaceful country has now become a theatre of needless wars. No nation makes progress in this circumstance.
The crux of the lessons in the celebration lies in the readiness to make sacrifices in the interest of others, willingness to fulfill promises and to implement agreements. The reverse is the case in our clime, as we have lost count of how many promises that our leaders have failed to fulfill. Prophet Ibrahim who was still childless at old age made a pledge to Allah that he would sacrifice his son if Allah gave him one. Despite the serious implications of this pledge, he actually took concrete steps to actualise it. No one is asking any leader today to kill his/her child; rather, what the common masses are asking for are the basics of life: food, shelter, good medical and infrastructure.
This is a day that should remind Muslims and our leaders to live in accordance with God’s wishes. This is a day that should remind us that we need to be upright,moral and honest. While we urge all Islamic faithful to offer special prayers for peace, harmony, unity, security and progress in our fatherland, we also call on all Nigerians to ponder awhile on the immense benefits the country and its people stand to derive if we all show piety, honesty, selflessness,tolerance, peaceful co-existence, equity, fairness and justice in all our dealings. To have the change we all earnestly crave for, we all have our respective roles to play. Happy Eidel-Kabir!
Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, President and Comrade Simeso Amachree, Secretary General of TUC