Muslims in Nigeria on Monday joined their counterparts around the world to mark the Eid-El-Fitr – signalling the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Eid-El-Fitr means “festival of breaking the fast” and celebrations would normally begin, depending on the sighting of the moon.
The event is quite different this year from those of 2020 and 2021 which were celebrated lowkey amid measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This year’s celebration coincides with the commemoration of the annual international Workers’ Day, and many would have expected the government to declare three days as public holidays.
But the Nigerian government declared Monday and Tuesday as public holidays to celebrate Workers’ Day and Eid-El-Fitr. Traditionally, Eid is celebrated for three days in all Muslim-majority countries.
While declaring the public holidays on behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, congratulated all Muslims across the country for the successful completion of the holy month of Ramadan.
He, however, called on them to imbibe and practice the virtues of kindness, love, tolerance, peace, self-denial, sacrifice, and good neighbourliness, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).
“The self-restraint, self-denial, sacrifice, and deep spiritual consciousness that accompanied the fasting period should not end but be maintained and improved upon, in order to be a better person and true worshipper,” the minister had said in a statement on Thursday last week.
He expressed confidence that the security challenges in some parts of the country would soon be a thing of the past, noting that the government was putting determined efforts and all necessary measures in place for Nigerians to enjoy unfettered peace all round.
Aregbesola also assured Nigerians that the administration of President Buhari was fully committed to the security of life and property of every citizen and foreigners alike.
He commended all security agencies for the successes recorded in the fight against criminals across the country and the peace that has returned to the formerly embattled places.
A crowd of Muslim faithful is seen at an Eid-el-Fitr praying ground along the Airport Road in Abuja on May 2, 2022.
The minister urged Nigerians to be part of the nation’s security architecture by being vigilant and reporting suspicious individuals and activities to law enforcement agencies nearest to them, noting that security was everybody’s responsibility.
He wished all Muslims a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration and prayed that the peace, blessings, and favours of Allah be with them.