Leaders of Nigeria, Burkina Faso call for peace

Nigeria and Burkina Faso’s presidents called for peace and stability in their countries and the African continent at large in messages on Wednesday marking the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

“Nigeria and Africa will see stability and peace. This is our prayer and hope as we celebrate Eid,” President Bola Tinubu said shortly after observing Eid prayers in Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos.

Tinubu expressed hope for peace and stability in his country and some parts of the continent affected by conflict.

Earlier in a statement, Tinubu urged Muslims across the world to remain committed to giving to the poor and making sacrifices as exemplified in the ideal of Eid al-Adha, or Festival of Sacrifice, where Muslims of means slaughter animals and share the meat with the needy.

Fight against terrorism 

In his Eid message, Burkina Faso’s military leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore, reiterated his appeal to all Burkinabe to support the fight against terrorism in the country, a day after 31 soldiers and three army auxiliaries were killed in the north.

“I invite all the Muslim faithful of our country to carry all the fighters fallen in this war against terrorism in their prayers and invocations for the return of peace to Burkina Faso. I reiterate my appeal to all Burkinabe without distinction to be fully committed to this relentless fight against terrorism and to our sovereignty. Together we will overcome,” he said.

The 31 soldiers and three army auxiliaries were killed on Monday after a supply convoy escorted by military units returning from Djibo, a town in the Sahel region, was ambushed by terrorists, according to the Burkina Faso army.

Meanwhile in Rwanda, main prayers to mark Eid al-Adha were held at Kigali Pele Stadium in the capital, led by Mufti Sheikh Salim Hitimana.

Sheikh Hitimana challenged Muslims to remember the poor and needy during the celebrations, saying acts of kindness help Muslims to grow spiritually as they share happiness and strengthen bonds with their families, friends and neighbors, including non-Muslims.

Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye wished Muslims a happy Eid, asking “Allah to answer their prayers and bless their families and development activities.”

In Mali, transitional President Col. Assimi Goita joined members of the Muslim community for Eid al-Adha prayers at the banquet hall of the Koulouba Palace, which served as a mosque, according to the presidency.

In Senegal, opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who was sentenced to two years in prison for “corrupting youth,” encouraged Muslims and Senegalese in general to better help each other.

Sonko, president of the PASTEF-Patriots party, addressing the public through social media for the first time since deadly protests in the country triggered by his sentencing earlier this month, spoke of the pilgrimage to the holy places of Islam in Mecca, saying he hoped that God would answer the prayers of thousands of Senegalese currently in Saudi Arabia to perform the fifth pillar of Islam.

Appealing to Senegalese to continue his political agenda, he also called on people to “avoid tensions and pray for stability” in Senegal.

Sonko was accused of rape and making death threats against Adji Sarr, an employee of a beauty salon in the capital, in 2021.

But judges at the High Court in Dakar acquitted Sonko of rape charges and issuing death threats.

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