The celebration of Sallah among the people of all ethnic and religious background was an indication that the peace accord brokered by Governor Lalong is yielding fruit, reports Yakubu Wuyep
If there is any indication that the Peace Accord brokered between Muslims and Christians by Governor Simon Lalong has yield result and brought a sense of security and belonging to Plateau State, the intermingling among people of the two prominent faiths during Sallah was enough proof.
Unbelievably Christians and Muslim celebrated Sallah without let and hindrance. It was as if they had never quarreled, fought bitter battles and restricted movements within each other’s clearly demarcated territories. There were free movements everywhere and relaxation centres in Jos, the state capital have all sprung to life.
The Plateau spirit has not left us, sang some residents at a joint, as Jos went agog as Muslim and Christian all in the mood of celebration galore with people describing Governor Lalong ambassador of peace.
In the event, residents commonly choose and named the beer 33 after Lalong. They said it was a mark of respect for the principle of his acceptability and promotion peaceful coexistence with the return of relaxation centres and nightclubs springing up in the state suddenly. It was a joint proclamation by adherents of the two faiths.
The Christian worshipers took advantage of break to visit relaxation centers with their family members .In most of the relaxation centers songs of joy was rendered to Lalong for his contributions to the restoration of peace among Christian and Muslim. Hence a drink popularly “called 33 was named after Governor Lalong “
To felicitate with the people, Governor Lalong distributed rams and food items worth N40 million to Muslims in the state for the Eid el-Kabir celebration.
Worshipers were solemn, making the Chief Imam of Jos Sheikh Muhammad Lawal Adam to enjoin Muslims to be of good behaviour and be its ambassadors by exhibit the true norms of the religion.
The Imam enjoined them in his sermons which was preceded with two rakkat prayer that marked the occasion of Eid-el-Adha, held at the Jos Central prayer ground, to be grateful to the governor for creating the conducive environment that has returned normal life to the state and urged the people to be ready to support the new era with the adherence to virtues of righteous living.
He said the Islamic teachings enjoins all Muslims to be of good behaviour, obedience to Allah and constituted authorities. ”
As you go about celebrating, you should all exhibit high sense of respect, discipline and also use the period to assist the needy,” he said.
According to him People who have the means to offer rams and other lawful animals for sacrifice should, “do that knowing fully that they following the Sunnah (Traditions), of Prophets Ibrahim and Muhammad, and should do it rightly.”
He said: “You should pray for peaceful co-existence and also pray for good leadership by the President, Governors and Local Government Councils.”
Similarly, traditional rulers and youths who spoke to our correspondent expressed their loyalty and support for the Lalong administration.
Governor Lalong in his Sallah message promised Plateau citizens of his administration’s commitment to the transformations of the all sector of the economy.
He however observed that before this could be achieved, the people should demonstrate their willingness to embrace each other to be in peace and harmony at all times.
With the rehabilitation of roads and revamping of the education sector which is receiving adequate attention, the tempo of infrastructural development will be sustained and the rural areas would, in no distance future be transformed into cosmopolitan settings making it possible for people to be united and turn their back fully to bickering and violent killings, he said .
“The peace induced business is getting more serious, as you can see Christian going into Muslim area with bubbling excitement and it would be the first time in 13 years since the state became a theatre of killing.
Not a few hearts on the streets and those relaxation places spoke of undying love for the epitome of change happening at state level.
The Commissioner of Police, Nasiru Oki however thinks things should not be taken for granted and therefore advised parents not to allow their children to resort to self-help and violence but follow the due process in resolving any religious, political dispute.
A resident of Jos North Local Government Area Mr Oladele Nasiru Lawal said the Sallah though there is lack of money to fully celebrate Sallah, the peace that reigned during the period was more than what money could by and hopes that when it is sustained other things including money would flow.
He added with the numerous developmental projects littering around is a proof that Nigeria would regain back its lost glory.
He said: “We also have the belief that any country or nation that would excel has to provide adequate security and unity among the people which we have started experiencing now.
When we look critically to the sallah celebration there is no record of suicide bombing and killing of innocent citizens that always created fear and disunity among the ethnic nationalities.”
Lawal urged our leaders to be focussed in promoting peace and unity among Nigeria.and the followers too should prayerful and believed we are all ,irrespective ,religion and tribal affiliation.
He emphasized in view of the challenges facing this country, APC government at the state and federal level have just spent 100 days in office which cannot be used as yardstick to judge their performance in office but with the way they incorporate every sectors in this country will go a long way in assisting them to execute their laudable programs for positive impact on the live of the common man.
“Governor Lalong is a God sent person on a rescue mission to deliver the people of Plateau state from shackle of ethnic bigotry ,poverty and lack of developmental” , he noted.
Lawal noted that after his swearing- in ceremony, Lalong swung into action to bring all the ethnics group together and tried to resolve from the roots the original causes for the killings and violence that had been lingering for years. “He tasked all the community leaders, set up committee of inquiry and immediately worked on their recommendations.
Due that singular act people now move around freely,transact business without fear or molestation . The Hausa who are mostly afraid of going to transact business in Christians dominated areas are now moving to do there businesses and anywhere in state.
Investigations show that community and religion leaders who are assigned with the task of keeping peace and order in their communities are vigorously doing so. The police and the sister organisations like army, civil defense and vigilante are carrying out their duties with aplomb.
Explaining the reason for naming the widely patronised beer 33 in the state after the governor, Lawal also explained that the name 33 is associated with the tribal mark on his face even as it is an indicate that he is widely accepted by the people of Plateau state.
He stressed that the easier. way to call Governor Lalong is to use what everybody take for their relaxation ,therefore if Lalong was not accepted by his people there is need identifying him with what the people wants.
According to him, the association of Lalong with the 33 beer started with few groups but had since gained widespread acceptance across the entire state as it portrays him as the messiah of peaceful co-existence that has eluded the state for the past 13 years.