Muslim groups demand holiday for Islamic New Year
As the Muslim faithful celebrate the Islamic New Year, notable Islamic organisations have urged the federal and state governments in Nigeria to declare Muharram 1, the first day of the Hijrah calendar as public holiday.
This is coming as the Ulamah under various umbrella trooped out to celebrate the New Year at different gathering across the nations. Others converged on a rally to intimate the populace about the benefits inherent in the new Hijrah year.
The groups, in separate messages, said such a declaration would be in line with the rule of law, fairness and justice to Muslims in Nigeria.
The groups include Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA) and Muslim Community of Oyo state (MUSCOYS).
Others include National Council of Muslim Youths Organisations (NACOMYO), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN).
MMPN in its statement signed by its President, Abdurrahman Balogun, urged the Federal Government to give recognition to Muslim New Year in the quest for fairness.
Balogun said that declaring Muharram 1, a public holiday would give Muslims a sense of belonging.
“Muharram 1 is the Islamic calendar equivalent of January 1, which is observed as a public holiday in Nigeria. Muslims worldwide will ushered in the new Islamic year Hijrah 1438 A.H.on Sunday Oct. 2.
“Muharram 1, is our own January 1, we want both the Federal and state governments alike to declare it as such in the interest of religious harmony in the country”, Balogun said.
National President, UNIFEMGA, Abdulwaheed Odeyimka also harped on the need for government to recognise the Hijrah calendar congratulated Muslims and non-Muslims alike for witnessing another new Islamic year and urged them to reflect on their deeds and activities during the past year.
Odeyimka also demanded an end to the prolonged strikes in the education sector in the interest of the students and educational advancement in Nigeria.
The Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaji Ishaq Sanni, said the declaration and recognition of Hijrah was long overdue and called for its immediate implementation.