As Muslims celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) says hunger looms in Nigeria as food prices are “beyond the common man.”
On Monday, the northern group urged Nigerian Muslims to seize the opportunity of the religious holidays to pray for peace to reign in the country.
In a statement issued in Kaduna through its national chairman, Audu Ogbe, the forum also called on believers of other religions to join in the struggle for lasting peace.
“This is a call to national duty that goes beyond religious boundaries,” it said.
ACF stated that Nigerians were celebrating the occasion with mixed feelings because of on-the-rampage bandits, kidnappers, terrorists, armed robbers, and “those trying to tear the country apart.”
“As a result of the sundry activities and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ACF, “hunger is looming in the dark corner, prices of foodstuffs are already beyond the common man.”
The northern group added that the time had come for all Nigerians to join hands towards ensuring the survival and progress of the nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari was reported on Monday to have begged traders not to exploit the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations to increase prices of rams and foodstuffs.
“Taking advantage of the celebration to exploit fellow citizens through outrageous prices of food and rams is inconsistent with fine virtues of Islam.
“As practising believers, we shouldn’t seek obscene profits by making life difficult and miserable for others. We should not seek happiness at the expense of others,” said Mr Buhari.
He urged all Muslims to continue to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians of other faiths in the spirit of peaceful coexistence.
“Let us pray for the progress of Nigeria at all times. Let us expose undesirable elements among us who are creating security problems for the country,’’ the president had further appealed to Nigerians.