Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has congratulated fellow Muslim faithful on the occasion of the 2021 EID celebrations.
The Wazirin Adamawa speaking on Tuesday in Yola, the state capital, after observing the two Ra’kat prayers at the eid ground, also stressed that Nigerians need to make sacrifices to live in unity and cooperate with each other to ensure peace and stability.
Speaking further, he used the opportunity to urge Nigerian and most especially voters in the state to get registered.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Muslim Council have frowned at the actions of rampaging youths for the destruction and looting of properties in Taraba State.
CAN Chairman in Taraba, Reverend Jirapye Magaji, made the position of the two religious groups known at a joint press conference on Thursday in Jalingo, the state capital.
Addressing reporters on the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest, he asked parents to continuously monitor the activities of their children in order to curb their involvement in crimes.
Reverend Magaji who insisted that destruction and looting of properties must be condemned wondered the kind of leadership the youths intend to offer as future leaders of the country.
He commiserated with the state government and private individuals whose properties were looted or vandalised.
The clergyman stressed the need for the government to be proactive in handling matters that affect people in trying moments.
He, however, commended the state government for taking the necessary action at the time by imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew to prevent the situation from further escalating.
Both groups also commended the efforts made by the security agencies in curtailing looting and destruction of public and private properties, although they stated that more efforts were required to prevent a reoccurrence of such incident.
Crowds of rampaging residents had invaded some government properties, including a warehouse containing COVID-19 palliatives donated by the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), and the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC).
The warehouse is located at the Veterinary Clinic opposite the secretariat of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Jalingo, the state capital.
During the incident which occurred on Saturday last week, a stampede reportedly took place but there was no confirmed figure of casualties.
China is running hundreds of detention centres in northwest Xinjiang across a network that is much bigger than previously thought, according to research presented Thursday by an Australian think tank.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said it had identified more than 380 “suspected detention facilities” in the region, where China is believed to have held more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking residents.
The number of facilities is around 40 percent greater than previous estimates, the research said and has been growing despite China’s claims that many Uighurs have been released.
Using satellite imagery, eyewitness accounts, media reports and official construction tender documents, the institute said “at least 61 detention sites have seen new construction and expansion work between July 2019 and July 2020”.
Fourteen more facilities were under construction in 2020 and around 70 have had fencing or perimeter walls removed, indicating their use has changed or they have been closed.
Beijing on Thursday again denied the existence of detention sites. The government says they are vocational training centres used to counter extremism.
Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called ASPI “the vanguard of anti-China forces whose academic credibility is seriously questionable”.
US lawmakers recently voted to ban imports from Xinjiang, citing the alleged use of systematic forced labour.
Beijing recently published a white paper defending its policies in Xinjiang, where it says training programmes, work schemes and better education mean life has improved.
It claims to have given “training sessions” to an average of 1.29 million workers each year between 2014 and 2019.
Following the publication of the ASPI report, the Chinese government-controlled nationalist tabloid Global Times cited “sources” as saying contributors Clive Hamilton and Alex Joske were banned from entering China.
Wang did not confirm if the two academics had been banned on Thursday, but said the matter was “totally within the scope of China’s sovereignty”.
Muslims in Nigeria are joining other faithful around the world to observe the 2020 Eid El Kabir celebrations.
Eid El Kabir or Eid Al-Adha is an Islamic festival marked annually on July 31, to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismail but after his faith was tested, a ram was provided and slaughtered instead.
In Nigeria, the day is usually declared as a public holiday and the general public enjoys off days while schools and most businesses are closed.
However, the celebrations that usually accompany the festivities in many parts of the globe will not be felt this year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic just as the Federal Government has resolved to curtail its spread in Nigeria by advising people to observe all safety protocols especially physical distancing.
But despite the restrictions, preparation for the event appeared to be in top gear between Wednesday and Thursday as people were seen travelling and livestock markets were buzzing with sales.
Muslims expressed disappointment Tuesday at Saudi Arabia’s decision to scale back this year’s hajj pilgrimage, but many accepted it was necessary as the kingdom battles a major coronavirus outbreak.
Riyadh said Monday the hajj would be “very limited” with only pilgrims already in the country allowed to perform the ritual, marking the first time in modern Saudi history that foreign visitors have been barred.
The move had looked inevitable for some time and several countries had already pulled out, but the announcement nevertheless added to disappointment for Muslims who invest huge sums and face long waits to go on hajj.
“My hopes of going to (the holy Saudi city of Mecca) were so high,” said Kamariah Yahya, 68, from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, which had already barred its citizens from the hajj earlier this month.
“I’ve been preparing for years. But what can I do? This is Allah’s will — it’s destiny.”
A group representing about 250 companies in Indonesia that organise Saudi pilgrimages said it understood that the five-day event, scheduled for the end of July, would be “too risky” at the moment.
But Syam Resfiadi, chairman of the Union of Hajj and Umrah Organisers, told AFP some of his group’s members had “started laying off employees or even shutting down their operations — they’ve had no income for months”.
A must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, the pilgrimage sees millions of people pack into congested religious sites and could have become a major source of virus transmission.
– ‘Shattered’ – Shahadat Hossain Taslim, head of a group representing Bangladeshi hajj travel agencies, said “many people will be shattered” by the decision but it was for the best.
“Unlike other countries, the majority of Bangladeshi pilgrims are elderly people, and they are vulnerable to COVID-19,” he said.
In neighbouring India, the minister for minority affairs said more than 200,000 people had applied to go on hajj in 2020, and they would receive a full refund of any money deposited for the pilgrimage.
The hajj ministry in Saudi Arabia, where virus cases have surpassed 161,000, has said the pilgrimage will still be open to people of various nationalities already in the country but did not specify a number.
The decision will likely appease domestic pilgrims but it prompted renewed questions about Saudi Arabia’s custodianship of Islam’s holiest sites — the kingdom’s most powerful source of political legitimacy.
A series of deadly disasters over the years, including a 2015 stampede that killed up to 2,300 worshippers, has led to criticism of the kingdom’s management of the hajj.
Mohamad Azmi Abdul Hamid, from charity the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations, said Muslim nations should have been allowed to take a “collective decision”, rather then it being left to Riyadh.
“It’s high time (the holy cities of Mecca and Medina) are managed by an international board represented by Muslim countries,” he told AFP.
The decision also risks annoying hardline Muslims, for whom religion may trump health concerns.
Despite the disappointment, some Muslims were already looking ahead to 2021 and hoping they would be able to perform the pilgrimage then.
“I’m still hoping to go on hajj next year, and pray that I’ll stay healthy until then,” said Yahya in Indonesia.
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Muslims to keep their spirits up in spite of the COVID-19.
The President gave the encouragement in a Sallah message on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr on Saturday.
According to him, the pandemic caught the world off guard and has dampened what would otherwise have been a time of celebration for the Muslim faithful who are marking the end of the Ramadan fasting period.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the people’s spiritual, social and economic lives,” he said, adding that “this year’s fasting period was particularly challenging for Muslims because they had to forgo many important aspects of their daily worship, including the routine congregations for prayer and the recitation and interpretation of the Holy Qur’an as well as travelling for the lesser pilgrimage to Makkah.”
President Buhari, however, noted that while it was not easy to give up many of those important duties and activities, it became imperative to do so in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend the sacrifices of both Muslims and Christians for their cooperation in the enforcement of the social distancing guidelines. I am well aware of the inconveniences these tough measures have brought on the lives of Nigerians, including limiting religious activities and gatherings in large numbers,” the President noted, adding that “no government would intentionally impose these tough and demanding measures on its citizens if it had a choice.”
Speaking further, he noted that “this year’s Eid event is an occasion for sober reflection rather than celebration.”
He also appealed to other Nigerians “whose businesses and means of livelihoods were badly affected by the prolonged lockdown measures for their understanding and cooperation.”
He assured them that the lockdown measures would not go on longer than necessary because they would be reviewed from time to time to ease the increasing hardships on the people.
Meanwhile, the president urged those who have the means to continue helping their neighbours and the less well-to-do “so that we can all come out of this pandemic stronger and more united.”
He prayed that Allah eases the hardship among the people as the country struggles to flatten the curve while wishing all Nigerians “Eid Mubarak.”
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku has ordered for the immediate distribution of food items to Muslim faithful across the state.
Governor Ishaku who inspected the various food items deposited at the warehouse of the State Transport Cooperation (TSTC ) on Thursday said the state government has concluded plans to commence the distribution of palliatives among the poorest of the poor next week.
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has emphasised the need for religious tolerance and harmony in the country.
The Governor, in a message to Nigerian Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Maulud celebration said that the current times call for greater emphasis on religious harmony, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence.
He said: “We are at a time where religious harmony is a necessary ingredient of our daily life. This is because a number of revisionists are trying to hide under the passion that is usually inflamed by religion to cause disharmony and disrupt the peace.
“We must resist such revisionists and tell them in clear terms that ours is a society that values peaceful coexistence, brotherhood, and unity. Like the Motto of our Dear Country, Unity, and Faith, we must continue to remain united even when we practice a different faith.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of Oyo State, let me congratulate all our Muslim brothers and sisters on the turn of another Eid-el-Maulud and reiterate that we all remain faithful to the teachings of the Holy Quran, which emphasis tolerance, respect for one another, humane conduct and love for fellow human beings.
“We can only build a great nation when we are truly our brothers’ keepers and adhere to the teachings of the prophet who emphasise love as a golden virtue among humanity.”
Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has assured the people of the state of his administration’s commitment to providing focused and quality governance.
He gave the assurance in a statement on Sunday while felicitating with Muslims as they mark the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
“Let me assure all our people that our Administration remains irrevocably committed to providing focused and qualitative governance that will create an enabling environment for Public-Private Sector Partnership (PPP) which is fundamental to creation of an enduring economic development,” he said.
Speaking further, he called on Muslims to emulate the qualities of Prophet Ibrahim which he says include patience, perseverance, steadfastness and obedience which according to him, are key to nation building.
“As we celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir Festival, it is important that we also take note of the lessons of the festival. We should all emulate Prophet Ibrahim’s patience, perseverance, steadfastness, obedience and commitment as vital ingredients toward the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda,” he said.
The governor also called for the continued support, cooperation, and prayers of the people of the state while asking them to celebrate in moderation.
“Let me enjoin you all to celebrate with moderation. We must all remember that even this celebration is an act of worship to Allah. And, I pray that God accepts all our worship as Ibadah. May He also grant us good rewards in this life and hereafter”.