Islamic New Year: Yobe, Bauchi, others declare Monday work-free day

Islamic New Year: Yobe, Bauchi, others declare Monday work-free day
  • …JNI, northern govs call for special prayers

 

By Abbas Jimoh (Abuja), Haruna Gimba Yaya (Gombe), Maryam Ahmadu-Suka (Kaduna), Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi) & Habibu Idris Gimba (Damaturu)

 

As Muslims in Nigeria join their counterparts across the world in ushering the new Islamic year, Hijrah 1446 A.H on Sunday, July 7, 2024, Yobe and Bauch state governments have declared today (Monday) a public holiday.

A statement by Mukhtar Gidado, the special adviser on media and publicity to the Bauchi State governor, noted that government offices, schools and banks were notified to observe this work-free day. Normal activities will resume the following day.

The state government said the “gesture underscores the administration’s respect for the religious and cultural values of our Muslim community, offering an opportunity for reflection, prayer and celebration. The government acknowledges the importance of Al-Muharram as a time of renewal and spiritual growth for our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

On its part, the Yobe State Government’s announcement, which was contained in a statement signed by the Yobe State Head of Service, Hamidu M. Alhaji, noted that Governor Mai Mala Buni urged civil servants to use the opportunity to pray for peace and bumper harvest in the 2024 cropping season.

The government, through the acting governor of the state, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, announced that Monday would be observed as a public holiday throughout the state to enable residents reflect on the significance of Hijrah and celebrate the new year in a spirit of unity and devotion.

Meanwhile, the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has congratulated the Muslim Ummah on the commencement of the Islamic New Year, 1446 AH.

The chairman of the forum and Gombe State governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, emphasised the significance of the New Year in the lives of Muslims.

He called on them to use the sacred month of Al-Muharram and beyond to offer special prayers for abundant rains that would lead to a bumper harvest, as well as peace, unity, growth and prosperity of Gombe State and Nigeria.

On their part, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) called on Muslims across the country to be committed to the worship of Allah despite daunting challenges.

The JNI secretary-general, Professor Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, in a statement issued in Kaduna, also appealed to political leaders across board to always remember that there is a day of accountability over their stewardships.

The statement reads, “The JNI uses this medium to call on Muslims to, despite the daunting challenges bedeviling us, remain God-fearing and committed to the worship of Allah, be law-abiding at all times, peaceful and industrious. Political leaders across board should always remember that there’s a day of accountability.

“There is, therefore, the need to be introspective, sincere, honest and committed to better the lives of the Nigerian citizens. Tangible and realistic policies should be matched with words and actions, not the other way round, which has left millions of Nigerians in penury and despair.

He enjoined Muslims to pray fervently for the restoration of peace, security, stability and development of the country, particularly that the new wave of insecurity in Nigeria is seemingly defying all strategies.

In his own message, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Barau  Jibrin, also congratulated fellow Muslims and other Nigerians on the Islamic new year.

Barau, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ismail Mudashir, urged Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of compassion, peace and support for one another.

He said, “As we celebrate the new Islamic Year, 1446 AH, let us reflect on the importance and historical significance of the Hijra and the overall teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and follow his examples, “he said.

He reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly to continue to come up with necessary legislation to address the challenges facing the country.

He also urged the citizens to continue to support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, assuring them that the policies being formulated by the president would address the challenges facing the country.

“With our support at the parliament and the understanding of Nigerians, Insha Allah, the promised land is assured, where things will work for all,” he said.

This is also as the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) has called on the federal and state governments to declare every Muharram 1, the first day of the Islamic calendar year as a public holiday.

The national president of the MMPN, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun, made the call Sunday in a statement in Abuja.

He stated that such declaration would be in line with the rule of law, fairness and justice to millions of Muslims in Nigeria as it was granted to the Christian brethren on every January 1 of the Gregorian calendar

“This gesture would give Muslims a sense of belonging in the polity. Muharram 1 is like our own January 1, so we want both the federal and state governments alike to declare it as such in the interest of religious harmony in the country,” Balogun stated.

He also implored Muslims to rededicate themselves to the cause of building an egalitarian society and join hands with other Nigerians in moving the country forward.

He, however, commended state governors who declared public holiday for Islamic New Year, urging others to emulate them.