Eid-el-Fitr: FG Extends Public Holiday To Thursday

Eid-el-Fitr, Public HolidayThe Federal Government has declared Wednesday and Thursday public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Fitr.

The Minister of Interior, Retired General Abdulrahman Dambazau said, “Following the directive of the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, to the effect that the Ramadan fast continues on Tuesday, as a result of the non-sighting of the moon, the federal government has now declared Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th July, 2016 as Public Holiday”.

The Federal Government had earlier declared Tuesday, July 5 and Wednesday, July 6, 2016 as public holiday to mark the Eid-el Fitri celebrations.

In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mr Bassey Akpanyung, General Dambazau urged Nigerians to use this period of sober reflections to ensure harmony, unity and peaceful co-existence.

He also asked that citizens give full support to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in his sustained effort to pursue socio-economic and political growth of the nation.

National Peace Committee, Buhari Discuss Nigeria’s Peace

Muhammadu-BuhariThe National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections, headed by former Head of State General Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd), has held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

At the meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday, talks were focused on how to sustain the peace that Nigeria had got after the general election.

The committee had brokered the signing of the peace accords between President Buhari and his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, ahead of the March 28 presidential poll.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, which lasted for about an hour, the catholic Bishop of Sokoto State, Bishop Matthew Kukah, said the peace committee had a role to still nurture the peace which Nigeria had got following the general elections.

The meeting is coming barely three days after former President Jonathan, had paid a secret visit to President Buhari at the residence.

Present at the meeting were General Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.

Also in attendance were Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Cardinal John Onaiyekan, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mrs Priscilla Kuye and Senator Ben Obi.


Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi Advises Jonathan, Buhari Against Violence

Bolaji AkinyemiNigeria’s Former Foreign Minister, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, has advised the presidential aspirant of the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan and that of the APC, General Mohammadu Buhari, to strive to ensure the safety of lives and property in the face of a possible breakdown.

Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, in an open letter to the two presidential candidates, also suggested some conflict-control measures to manage the violence he believes would erupt post-election.

According to the Deputy Chairman of the 2014 National Conference, the certainty of violence after the 2015 elections is higher than it was in 2011, as the illegal importation of weapons into the country has reached alarming proportions.

A portion of the letter read: “One of my low moments during the just concluded 2014 National Conference was when in an attempt to break an impasse, I painted a grim picture of devastation which would follow a breakdown of the Nigerian state, to which a delegate between 45 and 55 years old replied “so what?”

“I thought to myself, here is a man who would probably run away to a neighboring country at the boom of the first gun but was callously indifferent to the fate of the youth, women and children who would be caught in the middle.”

He proposed that the two presidential candidates meet and sign a Memorandum of Undertaking that will commit both a civil and peaceful campaign, devoid of threats; a commitment to preach peaceful elections to their supporters and a commitment to control their supporters after the elections.

He also appealed to the Sultan of Sokoto, the Emir of Kano, the Oba of Benin, the Ooni of Ife and other traditional rulers in the country, members of the clergy, past heads of state and elder statesmen to facilitate the pre-election meeting between the candidates, the preparation of the Memorandum of Undertaking and as a Council of Wise-men to assist in managing the post-election conflicts.