The Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) has again called on the Federal and state governments in Nigeria to declare Muharram 1, the first day of the Islamic Hijrah Calendar 1445 A.H, as a public holiday.
In the Hijrah 1445 A.H Message issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the National President of MMPN, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun said such a declaration would be in line with the natural rule of fairness and justice to millions of Muslims in Nigeria.
Balogun urged the Federal Government to give recognition to Muslim New Year in the interest of fairness as benefitted by the Christian brethren on every January 1.
This gesture, he stressed, would give Muslims a sense of belonging in the polity.
Muharram 1, is the Islamic calendar equivalent of January 1, which is observed as a public holiday in Nigeria.
Muslims worldwide will usher in the new Islamic year Hijrah 1445 A.H. on Wednesday July 19, 2023.
“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.
He implored government at various levels to recognise the Hijrah calendar and use it side by side with the Gregorian calendar.
Balogun 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.
He asked Muslims to use the opportunity of the New Year to migrate from their evil ways in the past and renew their commitments for good in the New Islamic Year as well as pray to Allah to guide the new administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in piloting the affairs of the Nation.
The MMPN President also called on the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to enter into dialogue with the Nigerian Government on the issue and other issues affecting the Muslim Ummah in the country.
He implored Muslims to rededicate themselves to the cause of building an egalitarian society and join hands with other Nigerians in moving the nation forward.
Balogun, however, commended state governors who had declared public holiday for Islamic New Year especially in the Northern part of the country as well as Oyo and Osun states in South West, urging other state governors to emulate their colleagues.
He described series of attacks on innocent Nigerians by some insurgent groups as unIslamic and pleaded with the affected groups to ceasefire and stop violence as a demonstration of its readiness to embrace peace.
Balogun equally called for a stringent legislation against rapist, kidnapping and all other acts of terrorism in the country, saying it was getting too rampant because the culprits always get away with it. (vitalnewsngr.com)