In line with celebration of Islamic Eid-el-Fitr, the Nigerian government has declared Monday, May 25th, and Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 as public holidays. In a statement released on Thursday, May 21st, 2020, by Mohammed Manga, the Director of Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Interior, on behalf of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Nigerian Minister of Interior Affairs, the government congratulated all Nigerian Muslim faithful on the successful completion of the holy month of Ramadan fast, calling on them to replicate the examples set by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) as being kind, loving, tolerant, peaceful and good neighbourliness.
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Commenting further, the minister expressed the government’s concern towards the recent spate of ethnic conflicts that has resurfaced in Northern Nigeria. While urging citizens to see themselves as single entity despite the differences in ethnic and religious affiliations, Aregbesola noted that tolerance is key to lasting peace. On the recent corona virus pandemic which has hit Nigeria and the world in general, the minister stated that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is fully committed in the fight against the deadly virus, stressing that the cooperation of the Nigerian populace is essential towards defeating COVID-19.
Also, the minister commended successful efforts made by security agencies in the country in the battle against the Boko Haram terrorist group in the North East. He would go further to advice Nigerians on the need to take responsibility against the spread of COVID-19, urging everyone to stay safe by ensuring they stick to health guidelines especially as regards observing physical and social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene, and numerous other regulations set by the relevant health authorities in the country.
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Emphasizing a little more on the celebration of Eid-el- Fitri, the minister charged Muslims to always adhere and respect constituted authorities in the country.
The government’s decision to declare Monday and Tuesday as public holidays owes to the fact that the celebration of the Muslim festival fell into a weekend, Saturday May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th, 2020. As Muslims around the world bid farewell to the Ramadan fasting period, celebrations for the Eid festival is expected to kick off tomorrow, depending on when the moon is sighted. Without a doubt, this year’s celebration will be affected by the recent scourge of the corona virus pandemic as measures towards curbing the spread of the virus are expected to be strict. Suspension of Eid prayers and outdoor festivals are some of the measures taken by the government of different countries to avoid physical contacts which spreads the virus faster.
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