Eid-el- Kabir or Eid Qurban, also called the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid el-Fitri), and considered the holier of the two. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb for sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this intervention, an animal is sacrificed ritually and divided into three parts. One share is given to the poor and needy, another is kept for home, and the third is given to relatives.
The rare act of Prophet Ibrahim is a demonstration of his love, dedication and commitment to God, and most importantly, a demonstration of his leadership quality, which every leader must emulate. He was keen to sacrifice his son in obedience to God, even when ordinarily, such is a difficult task. The examplary life of Prophet Ibrahim is a pointer to the fact that leadership is service even at the expense of one’s comfort.
As a nation, if we must move forward, Nigerian political leaders must learn from the virtue of sacrifice, dedication and commitment to God and humanity that Prophet Ibrahim lived for.
Every nation that is making progress today, is doing so, because the leaders have learnt this virtue of dedication and commitment that Prophet Ibrahim lived for. Since Nigeria gained independence in 1960, most of our leaders have continuously shown that they do not understand the role of sacrifice, dedication and commitment in nation development; which is the reason we are where we are.
A common trend is what is going on at the state level, where some former governors succeeded in changing certain laws of their states for selfish interest. In some of these states, the retirement package of former governors, is in billions, with a choice house in Abuja and their home states.
Unfortunately, some of these governors, owe workers and pensioners for months , with the excuse that there is no money for them to be paid. Some of them spend millions monthly hiring chopper that they use to travel from one part of the country to another, instead of flying commercial flight, and save their states from economic haemorrhage.
Also, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, have made it a point of duty not to let Nigerians know what they earn monthly as salary. The secrecy surrounding their salaries, allowances and other fringe benefits, is a demonstration of the fact that they are there for themselves and not for the people.
In the spirit of Eid-el-kabir celebration, we admonish the political leaders to use their offices for service to Nigerians and not for their own selfish interest. A situation whereby the President or a governor, travels to Europe or America with 30 to 40 delegates at the expense of the state or country, shows how much such a leader loves his people.
Nigeria will remain a backward country and forever be battling with negative economic indices, if our leaders do not tow the path of Prophet Ibrahim; to lift the country out of the doldrums of corruption and its attendant consequences.
We urge the leaders to make sacrifice their watchword in everything they do. That is the only way our country can return to the path of progress and take its rightful place in the comity of nations.
Our country has been wounded by the protracted culture of selfishness among the political class; which has incapacitated and crippled her innate potentials to compete favourably on the global scale.
We believe that if Canada, China, Japan, Switzerland and the U.S, can be great nations because of the sacrifices made by their heroes past, Nigeria can. If Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Tafawa Balewa, could do so much for the country with the meager resources they had, the current leaders can do better. All that they need is to learn and speak the language of dedication, commitment and sacrifice.
Every country that desires to succeed in the 21st century, must be a country run by leaders who understand and speak the language of dedication, commitment and sacrifice. The language is infectious and once the leaders take it upon themselves to embrace it, the citizens will follow.