The Nigerian government has declared Monday, May 25 and Tuesday, May 26, as public holidays for the celebration this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the Nigerian government, congratulated all Muslim faithful for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, the Minister called on Muslims to replicate the life of kindness, love, tolerance, peace and good neighbourliness, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
He expressed concern about the spate of ethnic conflicts that have resurfaced in some parts of northern Nigeria in recent times and advised Nigerians to see themselves as a single entity and learn to tolerate one another despite their ethnic and religious differences.
Aregbesola assured Nigerians that the government 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 and wished all Muslims a happy Eidul-Fitr celebrations.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto and Head of Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Sa’ad Abubakar III, has directed the suspension of Eid-el-Fitr congregational prayers in the outskirts of towns and cities across the country.
In a statement by the JNI Secretary-General, Dr, Khalid Aliyu, the Sultan, who is also the President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), urged Muslims to observe the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at home with family members, or alone in the case of an individual living alone.
He also urged state governments that have reached concrete decisions to observe the Eid-el-Fitr prayer, based on their medical experts’ advice.
The traditional ruler urged them to ensure that the worshippers observe the strictest measures of distancing, face masks, and the use of hand sanitisers at the praying ground.
According to him, the authorities should consider using neighbourhood mosques if it becomes necessary to observe the prayer in an open space.