Martins Preaches Love to Muslims

Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, urges Muslims faithful to use the occasion of Eid-El-kabir celebration to renew their commitment to love and sacrifice

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Oct. 28, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

ALFRED Adewale Martins, Catholic archbishop of Lagos, has enjoined Muslims in Nigeria to use the period of Eid-El-Kabir celebration to rededicate themselves to the life of sacrifice. In his goodwill message to Muslims signed by Gabriel Osu, director of social communications, Martins, while congratulating Muslims on the festival, also urged them to always imbibe the spirit of tolerance and total submission to the will of God, “as those are sure ways to invite God’s  favour and blessings at all times.”

He noted that there was need for people of all religions- Christians, Muslims and adherents of traditional religion, to always live in peace by being more tolerant and accommodating of one another. The clergy also urged all Nigerians, including the leadership, not to shy away from making the requisite sacrifices needed to make the country a better place for all its citizens.

“There is so much similarity between the story of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Jesus Christ. When Ibrahim was told to sacrifice his only son to God, he willingly accepted to do so, though God graciously provided an alternative for him by the way of a ram. In the New Testament also, God once more enacted the inevitability of sacrifice in the story of humanity when he gave his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to die for us as a sacrifice to redeem humanity from sin. So, you can see that there is a lot of similarity between the story of Ibrahim and Jesus. Both amplified on the need for us all to be ready to make sacrifices, to be tolerant of one another and to be obedient to the will of God,” he said.

The Archbishop also implored members of the dreaded religious sect, Boko Haram, to sheathe their swords and embrace peace and dialogue, in line with the tenets of Islam which is a religion of peace and total submission to the will of God.

As usual, the two-day celebration gave rise to sharp increases in intercity transport fare. An investigation during the festive period showed increases of between 20 and 25 percent in transport fares at Jabi and Utako parks in Abuja. The fare for Abuja to Lokoja, which attracted N1,500 per passenger before the Sallah festival, now rose to N2,000 per passenger. Abuja to Kaduna was relatively stable, when compared to the situation in September.

Meimuna Adamu, a passenger at Jabi Park, Abuja, said there was an increase of N300 in the cost of transportation from Abuja to Kano. “I paid N2,700 to Kano last week but today (Monday), they are charging every passenger N3,000. The transporters are always in the habit of increasing their fares during festive periods,” she said. The cost of transportation from Abuja to Lagos also increased from N4,500  to N5,550 at Utako. Dayo Adeyemi, a commuter at the park, said that the increase in the cost of transportation was expected because it was a usual occurrence during festive periods. He said that the transport fare from Abuja to Ibadan before the festival was N4,000, but that had been increased to N4,550.

Abubakar Idris, a driver, plying Abuja-Kano route, defended the increase in the cost of transportation during festive periods. “We usually have full passengers to Kano during Sallah but few passengers will come on board from Kano to Abuja. We have to recover the cost of running our vehicles back to Abuja during this period,” Idris said. Apart from these, the prices of foodstuffs had also increased, as residents on Monday, October 14, made last-minute shopping for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

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