There was a special juma’at session at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday as part of activities to mark the country’s 57th independence anniversary with calls for continued national unity.
Among dignitaries that attended were a former vice president, Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo and the president of the Senate, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Sambo left the Presidential Villa immediately after the prayer while the Senate president accompanied President Buhari to his official residence.
Addressing journalists, the senate president urged all Nigerians to remain together, saying they should not lose hope as the challenges in the economy “can be addressed.”
He noted that Nigeria’s 57th independence anniversary was worth celebrating as the nation had achieved a lot, especially by being able to maintain peace.
He called on citizens to continue to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and the peace and unity of the country.
The prayer session was also attended by the governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abdullah Abubakar; the deputy leader of the Senate, Senator Bala Na’alla as well as Senators Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara), Abu Ibrahim (Katsina) and Shaba Lafiaji (Kwara).
The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau and the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shitu were also at the mosque.
Also in attendance were the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris as well as the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru.
In his sermon, the Chief Imam of the State House mosque, Malam Abdulwahid Abubakar Suleiman, urged Nigerian leaders to lead by example and render selfless services to the nation and humanity.
He said Nigerians had reasons to rejoice over the country’s unity and stability as well as numerous achievements recorded so far in the various spheres of national life.
He said in order to consolidate the gains, the nation’s leaders and the led must continue to work together towards achieving national aspirations.
The cleric beseeched Allah to continue to guide and grant President Buhari good health, courage and wisdom to implement his administration’s change agenda for a greater Nigeria.