Nigeria’s Federal Government has declared Tuesday July 20 and Wednesday July 21, 2021, as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated all Muslim faithful and Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on the occasion.
Aregbesola in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, said: “I call on Muslims to continue to imbibe the spirit of love, peace, kindness and sacrifice, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and to also use the period to pray for peace, unity, prosperity and the stability of the country, considering the challenges of insecurity we face at the moment.
“These mainly are bandits in the North West and North Central, insurgents in the North East, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic agitators and sundry criminals in other parts of the country,” Aregbesola added.
The Minister assured that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is “committed to the security of lives and property of every Nigerian, empowering the citizens for successful living, the provisions of social investments programmes and adequate security in the schools, especially with the spate of innocent school children being targets of kidnapping.”
Aregbesola, while wishing Muslim faithfuls a happy Eid-el Kabir celebration, advised all Nigerians to take responsibility by reporting any suspicious individuals and criminal activities to law enforcement agencies, especially during this festival.
He also enjoined all Nigerians to observe of all COVID-19 protocols, particularly the non-pharmaceutical measures – wearing facemasks, hand washing and social distancing – designed to keep transmission of the disease at bay.
He said: “We must all take responsibility for containment of the pandemic during this year’s festival.”
The Minister however sympathised with the families of school children who have been kidnapped or suffered one misfortune or another. He said: “Our hearts and prayers of comfort are with you.”
Michael Olugbode in Abuja