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Eid-el-Kabir: FG Declares Monday, Tuesday As Public Holidays

– As Group Worries Over CAN Criticism On Sultan’s Announcement 

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – In order to mark the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir by the Muslim faithful, the Federal Government (FG) has declared next week Monday and Tuesday, September 12 and 13, 2016 as public holidays.

Minister of Interior Lieutenant Gen. AbdulRahman Dambazau (retd) made the declaration on behalf of FG in a statement signed by the acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Muhammadu Maccido.

The Minister urged Muslims and Nigerians in general to support and join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari in his sustained efforts to diversify the economy and progressively accelerate the pace of economic recovery.

Gen. Dambazau reiterated that FG was very conscious of the current economic challenges currently facing the country and assured that appropriate steps were being taken to address them

He cited that FG was working to‎ revitalize the agriculture sector and address the recession through areas such as: “Youth Empowerment Scheme” in Information and Communication Technology; “The Change Begins with Me”, a value re-orientation campaign; massive capital releases and other social intervention programmes.

He wished Nigerians a happy Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

Meanwhile, a group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC has expressed dismay over the coalition of 22 Christian groups in Nigeria led by National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) to have faulted the earlier announcement on Sallah day by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III.

It would be recalled the President of Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has late Friday, September 2, confirmed the sighting of the new moon and subsequently confirmed Monday, September 12, 2016 as the Eid-el-Kabir day

MURIC in a statement issued in Lagos by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola said the group was “greatly perturbed by the recent trend in the advocacy of NCEF and its parent body, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)” saying their interventions were “destructive, biased, confrontational, unnecessarily aggressive and openly hostile”.

“This is definitely not what we need while the country lies in the intensive care unit. CAN and NCEF are not thinking of Nigeria’s survival. They are singing war songs, heating up the polity and making hate speeches.

“CAN has deliberately twisted the Sultan’s declaration of Id al-Kabiir day as if the latter had declared a public holiday. For the avoidance of doubts, there is a difference between declaration of Salah day and declaration of a public holiday. Only the Federal Government can declare a public holiday in the country while Governors alone can declare it in the states. But the Sultan reserves the right to declare the day for a Muslim festival. CAN has no locus standi to question him. Or did the Sultan declare Christmas day?

“The Sultan based the announcement on Saudi’s declaration of Sunday 11th September as Arafat Day. Normally, the following day should be Salah day. So the Sultan was right. He was even being proactive. The declaration is expected to guide government’s decision on which day or days to declare as public holiday. It was an act of patriotism” MURIC stressed.

The group assured Nigerians that Muslims were willing to peacefully coexist with their Christian neighbours and reiterated that Nigerian Muslims have no hidden agenda.

“We have always told Nigerians what we want. We just want to be allowed to be Muslims. No more, no less. We urge Christians to ignore the hate speeches and incitements coming from CAN and NCEF leadership.

“Let us join hands to rebuild our dear country. Let us come together to fight the ills of society. Our criticisms and commendations should be on the basis of an individual’s pedigree and not on his religious leaning. Let us eschew mutual suspicion and ill will. Let us celebrate our achievements together and seek corrections for our failings with one voice. These are the only ways to turn Nigeria into the desired El-Dorado” MURIC asserted.


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