By Rita Esegine
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has admonished Muslims in Nigeria to use the Sallah period to reflect on how to move Nigeria forward, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic crashes world economy and claiming lives all over the world.
In a statement jointly signed by TUC President and Secretary General, Comrade Quadri Olaleye and Comrade (Barr) Musa-Lawal Ozigi, respectively, said that “The Muslims should be applauded for adhering to the Holy Quran and fasting despite the lockdown and restrictions in movement.
“This is very vita as it’s only the Almighty God who can liberate us from this novel coronavirus that has come to clip the Economy of our dear Country however we must show love to one another now more than ever before. Also, Nigerians must maintain peace, a corruption-free society and love one another irrespective of religious affinities to forge ahead.”
The Congress also said; “We especially wish to thank the president whom in his wisdom has told people to pray in their houses to further curtail the spread of the virus and also maintain the prescription of the World Health Organization (WHO), Ministry of Health and other health professionals”.
“We call on the Federal Government and other tiers of government to rise up to the task of rebuilding the economy; deal with the issue of tribalism, nepotism, corruption, religious intolerance that plagued the country before now.
“The COVID-19 was just an additional plague. If we miss the opportunity of redirecting our affairs now we may never get it right again. It is not a curse. As a people we must all submit ourselves to the will of the Almighty God, knowing that He alone can help us to overcome the present challenges no matter how thorny or weighty they may appear at the moment.
“The essence of the celebrations include, amongst others; living sacrificial lives, sincere initiation and implementation of worthy policies by public officers.
“We must imbibe the live-and-let-live attitude rather than denying other people their rights, etc. We must not allow corruption, greed and avarice that have brought both the economy and the average Nigerian to their knees to continue. It is ungodly.
“We must not wear the garb of sainthood during fasting periods and manifest the contrary soon after. It is called hypocrisy.
“Finally, we wish to state here that we are against getting loans from China. Some African countries have rejected their loan offers because of the conditionalities attached, why is ours different? We must be circumspect. There is no free lunch even in Freetown. We are yet to see what was done with the collected loans, repatriated monies, donations and grants. This is not the time to spend on frivolities.”