Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday evening urged Muslims to extend love to others and imbibe the act of selfless service to humanity during and after Ramadan, saying such would go a long way in making the world better.
Speaking at a Ramadan Tafsir held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja organised by the State Government to mark the official commencement of the Muslim fasting month, Governor Ambode said those having in excess must show gratitude by helping others and also exhibit total submission to God's commandments.
"To all my Muslim brothers and sisters, I just want to use this opportunity to greet all of you that as we commence the Ramadan month and with all the lectures we have heard, we are doing this to be in tune with Allah and to be in sync with the kind of supplication that we want to give and we know 30 days out of 365 days are not enough to really show our total submission to Allah.
"What I just want to say is that the important thing in all these 30 days that we are going to have the Ramadan is to show love to ourselves and also show love to our neighbors.
"You need to love yourself first before you can even show love to another person. So, when we have in excess, we must show the attitude of gratitude to be able to give to others because somebody else has over provided for us," the Governor said.
He said since assuming office, the guiding philosophy of his administration had been about inclusion and to positively touch lives, just as he admonished Muslims to imbibe the spirit of giving selflessly to others at all times.
"Beyond Ramadan, we must also show the attitude of giving at all times; that is the philosophy of our government; that is the practice we have been doing in the last three years; we must touch the poor and we must touch our people.
"There are people who are suffering and that is why we do projects that are people-oriented; that is why we go to areas that have never been touched before; that is why we would be in Ayobo, Akute, Badagry, Epe and places that have not been touched and that is the whole essence of why Allah has brought us on earth.
"God did not say we should come and acquire resources; He did not say we should come and acquire wealth; He says we should come and serve Him and we should serve Him selflessly. That is the philosophy of our government and that is what we have been preaching ever since I came into office. That is what we have continued to preach and imbibed and that is what I want every Lagosian to imbibe," Governor Ambode said.
In his lecture on importance of Ramadan, National Missioner, Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdul- Rahman Ahmad, said almighty Allah, through the month, was calling on Muslims to learn the spirit of piety and service relationship with Him.
"We must introspect and ask fundamental questions about our relationship with almighty Allah. He has sent us here to worship him and worship is also love and care for humanity.
"When you fast, you are taken closer to how disadvantaged people feel. It is also an opportunity for us to be generous because we feel what it is meant to be deprived," Ahmad said.
While urging Muslims to imbibe and sustain the spirit of giving beyond Ramadan, the cleric said it was a bad thing for people to spread falsehood and run others down, saying such should never be heard among Islamic faithful. On his part, Founder of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola commended Governor Ambode for religious harmony and massive infrastructural renewal drive across the State.
Speaking glowingly about the Governor, Akintola said: "We are hosted here today by a man of integrity; a man of honour; a man whose humanity has been attested to; a man who is not a Muslim but he is always there for Muslims.
"What we need in this country is a leader who will stand up for the truth, who will stand up for credibility, who will stand up for what is important not for religion, not ethnicity. Your Excellency, we are really proud of you.”
Also, Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Sulaiman Oluwatoyin Abou-Nollah, commended Governor Ambode for always being on the field to monitor progress of work on the infrastructural projects across the State, saying the development had resulted in placing the State on sound pedestal for growth. Prayers were offered by Islamic clerics for continued peace and prosperity of the State, the first family and Lagosians.