By Hassana Yakubu
Kaduna, – Pastor Yohanna Buru, General Overseer, Christ Evangelical and Life Intercessory Fellowship Ministry, Kaduna has distributed food packages to more than 2,000 needy Muslims to enable them celebrate the Eid-el Kabir festival.
Among the beneficiaries of the gesture were Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), beggars, people living with disabilities, identified poor Muslim families and `Almajiri’ (Quranic education pupils).
Buru, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on the gesture, said that it was aimed at promoting peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians across the 36 states of Nigeria.
“The goal is to help the needy Muslims with food to eat at home with their families and to encourage them to pray for Nigeria.
“We want them to celebrate and be happy like other Muslims all over the world.
“We also feel that this festivity period is a time to strengthen good relationship with Muslims and promote religious tolerance, better understanding and mutual cooperation,” he said.
The cleric said that the gesture was not the first undertaken by the Church.
“Last year, we packaged food for 1,100 families during the same period. The beneficiaries then included widows, IDPs, the destitute and Kaduna Prison inmates.
“By identifying with our brothers at this time, we want everyone to remember that Muslims and Christians are children of Adams and Eve, the “biological parents” of everyone.
“We also want them to know that Muslims and Christians believe in one God with each belief rooted in the two holy books – the Bible and Quran.
“We also want adherents of both religions to remember that they all believe in life after death and also believe in the existence of paradise and hell.
“The simple and undeniable fact is that we are all brothers and sisters and must, therefore, support each other to live in peace and harmony,” he said.
Buru regretted that the increase in the prices of food had forced many Nigerians into difficulties, and appealed to wealthy Muslims and Christians to assist the poor, especially the widows and orphans.
“God listens to the prayers of widows, orphans and the helpless; let’s take advantage of this to cater for them so that they will pray to God to give us peace in our country,” he said.
Receiving the food items at the physically challenged persons home along Kano road in Kaduna, Mallam Tukur Zubairu, leader of the blind people’s group, thanked the Church over the “constant food donation” to the needy.
“This Pastor (Buru), brings food to us all the time. The Pastor always remember us and usually come to this house and donate plenty food items to our members,
“We cannot thank him enough. It is only God that can reward Pastor Yohanna Buru for coming to see us every year without showing any sign of discrimination or stigmatisation.
“Today is Sallah (Eid-el Kabir), but no one seems to remember us; we have been hungry since morning with nothing to eat until Pastor Buru and his team visited the house,” he said.
Malam Lawal Maduru, Chairman, Niggas Rehabilitation Centre, Riggasa, whose group also received the items, urged other religious clerics to emulate the good gesture by Pastor Yohanna Buru
“We must help one another to make Nigeria great irrespective of our religious, ethnic or political differences,” he said.