11th Jumadah At-Thaniyyah 1436AH
1st April, 2015
His Grace, Pastor Ayodele Oritsejafor, OFR,
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN),
National Ecumenical Centre,
CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE ON EASTER
The Nigerian Muslim Ummah, under the leadership of the President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar mni, CFR, wishes to congratulate the Christian Community on the auspicious occasion of Easter.
As a religious festival commemorating a significant landmark in Christianity, Easter serves as a springboard for spiritual renewal, religious re-awakening and general rebirth. It is our hope and prayer that this spirit of re-awakening and rebirth would be allowed to define our national course.
As a people of faith united by our common ancestor, Prophet Ibrahim, the recent history of distrust within our faith communities and weakened efforts at inter-faith communication require urgent attention of all of us. Easter serves to re-direct our attention to those values and ideals that we traditionally share in common, which had defined us before the recent expediency.
Human beings are weak and we are characterized by fallibility, according to the Qur'an (Q4:28). We must have committed errors as leaders but God, out of His infinite wisdom, has granted us the opportunity of this season for a re-think. It is an ample moment we should seize to deeply reflect on where we erred as humans and then chart a new beginning of rectitude and righteousness as one people under God.
Specifically, Your Grace would appreciate that before our eyes, both Islamic and Christian Studies as independent school subjects have been downgraded to mere topics under a subject in our basic school curricula. Other tragedies bordering on trust had befallen us but we thank God for this golden opportunity of Easter and its symbolic message of renewal.
As we congratulate you and our teeming Christian brothers and sisters all over the country on the occasion of this important religious festival, we urge you to partner with us in addressing issues pertinent to building a strong and vibrant nation. Let us put the past behind us as we deem the largely peaceful elections, (about which the world was apprehensive) and this period an opportunity to make a new beginning in the spirit of fasting, prayer, penance and cooperation.
The Nigerian Muslim Ummah wishes you many happy returns of the holy season. We also wish you and ourselves a renewed commitment to holiness and righteousness in our words and actions to the glory of God, the advancement of humanity and the guidance of our followers.
Thank you and God bless.
Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, OFR, FNIM, FNAL