Muslims celebrate new Hijrah 1439 year, seek better Nigeria
Nigerians yesterday joined Muslims across the globe to celebrate the new Hijrah 1439. Reputable Islamic groups, in separate Hijrah 1439 A.H messages, felicitate with the Ummah and enjoined them to play critical role in the quest for a better Nigeria.
The messages came from Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA) and Muslim Community of Oyo State (MUSCOYS).
Others include Muslim Consultative Forum (MCF), Federation of Muslim Women in Nigeria (FOMWAN) and Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN). The groups also commended governments of Kano, Osun and Oyo states for declaring a work free day to mark the beginning of the new Islamic year.
The Muslim Consultative Forum (MCF) implored Muslims to rededicate themselves to the cause of building an egalitarian society and join hands with other Nigerians in moving the nation forward.
FOMWAN through her National Amirah, Hajia Aminat Omoti and Alhaja Sururah Oyero, National PRO, called for stringent legislation against rapist in the country, saying it was getting too rampant because the culprit always get away with it.
The Muslim women also decried the denial of some schools, especially government-owned, of Muslim girls of wearing head scarf (hijab) in line with the dictates of their faith as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
She equally commended the Federal government for the restoration of religious studies in the education curriculum in the country, saying such will assist to reduce moral decadence in students.
MMPN in its statement signed by its President, Abdurrahman Balogun, urged the Federal Government to give recognition to Muslim New Year in the interest of fairness.
Balogun said that declaring Muharram 1, a public holiday would give Muslims a sense of belonging. Muharram 1, in the Islamic calendar, is equivalent to January 1, which is observed as a public holiday in Nigeria.
“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.
In the same vein, UNIFEMGA in its message signed by Abdulwaheed Odeyimka , its National President, called on the government at various levels to recognise the Hijrah calendar and use it side by side with the Gregorian calendar.
It 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.
In his message, 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.
He called on the leadership of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to enter into dialogue with the Nigerian Government on the issue.
Sanni commended the bold steps of Governors of Oyo and Osun states in recognizing the first day of new Islamic year by declaring a work free day during the period and urged other state governors to emulate them especially in South West.
MSSN in its Hijrah message hailed those governors who had declared Muharram 1, as public holiday, and urged other state governors as well as the Federal government to emulate.
The Muslim students group also expressed worries on the prolonged strikes in both educational and health sectors, calling on all stakeholders to resume dialogue in the overall interest of students and educational development in Nigeria as well as health care delivery in the country.