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News - Politics/Social - Thematterspress - May 21, 2020

Sallah: Nigeria declares public holiday


Muslims offer prayers to mark end of Ramadan fasting
Nigeria has declared Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 May, 2020 as public holidays to mark 2020 Eid-el-Fitr celebration as the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, directed Muslims to look out for the new moon of Shawwal 1441 AH from Friday May 22.

The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, announced the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement by the Director Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Mr Mohammed Manga, on Thursday in Abuja.

Aregbesola congratulated all Muslim faithful for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.

He called on Muslims to replicate the life of kindness, love, tolerance, peace and good neighbourliness, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

The Minister expressed concern about the spate of ethnic conflicts that have resurfaced in some parts of northern Nigeria in recent times.

He advised Nigerians to see themselves as a single entity and thus learn to tolerate one another despite their ethnic and religious differences.

Aregbesola assured Nigerians that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari “is fully committed to battling the scourge of COVID-19 with the cooperation of all Nigerians.”

He commended the security agencies for the successes so far recorded in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.

The minister, however, called on Nigerians to take responsibility against the spread of COVID-19 and also stay safe by observing physical and social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene as well as other regulations issued by relevant authorities.

Aregbesola reminded Muslims to always obey constituted authorities as stated in the Glorious Qu’ran 4:59 where Allah says: ‘O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.

Shawwal is the tenth month in the Islamic Calendar and the month in which Muslim celebrate Eid-al-fitr after the compulsory fasting month of Ramadan.

Abubakar made the call in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto.

“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Friday, May 22, 2020, which is equivalent to 29th day of Ramadan 1441 AH, shall be the day to look out for the new moon of Shawwal 1441 AH.

“Muslims are, therefore, requested to start looking out for the new moon and to report its sighting to the nearest district or village head for onward communication to the sultan,” the Sultan said.

However, in another separate statement sign by Prof. Junaidu, the Sultan also directed the Sokoto District Heads, Village Heads and Imams of Juma’at Mosques to lead Eid-al-fitr prayers in their respective mosques while eid field should remained close.

Abubakar said the directive is to enable the people maintain the social distancing been advised by professionals in order to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the state.

“Moreover, there should be no gathering or traditional celebration during the period, as such people should remain at their respective resident to celebrate,” he said.

The Monarch further called on all Muslim to continue to pray for the end of COVID-19 across the globe and prayed for Allah’s help to all as the people discharge their religious duties.

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