* NSCDC deploys 30,000 nationwide to beef up securityJohn Shiklam in Kaduna, Michael Olugbode in Abuja and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Sultan of Sokoto and head, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has enjoined Muslims to pray fervently for God’s intervention in the calamities bedeviling Nigeria as they mark Arafat day, today, Friday, ahead of tomorrow’s Eid-el-Kabir.
Also, to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, the federal government, has declared Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th of July, 2022, as public holidays.
At the same time, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has deployed over 30,000 officers and men across the nation to ensure a hitch-free celebration.
The Sultan, in a statement yesterday, issued on his behalf, by the Secretary General of JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said Muslims must humble themselves before God in prayers as there seemed to be no end to the challenges facing the country.
“The Sultan calls on the Nigerian Muslims to please, in the name of Allah, fervently supplicate to Allah for His intervention and an end to the myriad of challenges bedeviling the country.
“It is obvious and very scary if we don’t humble ourselves to the Almighty Allah, an end to these orgies seems not insight if happenings in the country are anything to underscore.
“He implores us all to dedicate special prayers against all the menaces and the hydra-headed calamities (of insecurity, poverty, high cost of living and corruption) occurring in Nigeria,” the statement said.
The Sultan also noted that with the 2023 general elections fast approaching, Muslims “need to also seek Allah’s apt intervention for stability, security, peace and development of Nigeria.”
He added that, as people of faith, Muslims must submit themselves “to Allah, especially, that all efforts geared towards restoration of peace and order seems to defy solutions.
“We however reiterate that the need for fervent prayer for peaceful and smooth political transition, and an end to the varied socio-economic challenges, is ardently necessary.”
However, announcing the public holidays, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, congratulated all Muslims and Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora on the occasion.
Aregbesola 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.”
The Minister assured the people that, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was “committed to the security of lives and properties of all Nigerians, empowering the citizens for successful living, the provisions of social investments programmes and adequate security in the schools.”
While wishing Muslims a happy Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the minister urged Nigerians to take responsibility by reporting any suspicious individuals and criminal activities they observed around them to law enforcement agencies with the use of N-Alerts application that has been designed to mitigate security challenges with prompt response from security agencies. As soon as you “See Something Do N-Alerts”, most especially during this festival.
He also enjoined all Nigerians to be vigilant and observant of intruders in their communities.
“We must all take responsibility for the security of lives and property as we celebrate this year’s festival,” he said.
He however, craved the indulgence of every Nigerian to come together, insisting that, “We need to put our heads, hearts and all we have together, in order to achieve relative peace for harmonious coexistence and put an end to insecurities in Nigeria.”
The Minister assured all Nigerians of the government’s protection under the law, maintenance of law and order and keeping the peace in all situations.
To this end, the Commandant General of the Corps, Dr. Ahmed Audi, who ordered the deployment in order to beef up security across the nation, charged all Heads of Directorates, Departments, Zonal Commanders, State Commandants, Area Commanders and Divisional Officers to deploy massively across board in order to ensure a hitch-free celebration.
He said, “We have geared efforts towards keeping our people safe and critical infrastructure protected during and after the Sallah celebration. The recent spate of attacks and threats to life and property in the country call for more proactive engagements, rather than reactive actions.
“We need to identify and address areas of concern to our collective safety by deploying personnel adequately to protect soft targets. Nigerians deserve a safe and peaceful environment and we must not allow bandits and terrorists to hold us to ransom now or anytime during festivity.
“I have ordered the deployment of over 30,000 personnel across all our formations for effective deployment to all nooks and crannies to address all forms of threats to national security.”
While promising that adequate security would be put in place to safeguard praying grounds, recreation centres, markets, shopping malls, motor parks and all critical national assets and infrastructure, he charged those in the riverine areas to deploy necessary equipment like boats for periodic patrol of the nation’s waterways to beef up security and forestall illegal activities of vandals and bunkerers.
He claimed that on the watch list of the corps were suspected black spots and other vulnerable areas to prevent destruction of both human and material resources.
“We are now experiencing asymmetric conflict, which requires new strategy, vigilance and effective action. The Corps will not rest on its oars to ensure that crime is nipped in the bud and perpetrators are brought to justice.
“I therefore, urge the good people of Nigeria to go about their legitimate businesses without fear, as our deployment will ensure safety and orderliness during the festivities.”
He disclosed that the mobilisation of personnel for the Sallah operation will be drawn from Anti-vandal unit, Special Female Squad (SFS), Rapid Response Squad, SWAT, Special Forces, CG’s Special Intelligence Squad, CG’s Anti-vandal Monitoring Squad, CBRNE, K9 Unit and the intelligence and surveillance team to ensure covert and overt security operation before, during and after the celebration.
Kwara: Saraki Supports Kwara People with Cows, Other Gifts
Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said he would continue to make life more bearable for the people of Kwara State, irrespective of their political affiliations, to reduce sufferings occasioned by bad governance in the country.
Saraki stated this in Ilorin yesterday, in a statement by his local Press Officer, Mr. Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir, during the distribution of cows, rams and cash gifts to different categories of people for the Eid Kabir celebration in the state.
“The celebration of Eid Kabir is to show love and kindness and this is being demonstrated so as to bring new hope to the people of the state,” Saraki said, adding that, the distribution of the gifts to the people was a symbol of kindness, especially, to the less privileged people in order to make their families happy during the celebration
According to the statement, Saraki’s gesture, which has become an annual tradition, was to enable the beneficiaries fulfil their Sallah obligation of animal sacrifice and to also celebrate the festival with joy.
He however, listed the beneficiaries to include less privileged families, party members and stakeholders, traditional leaders, Islamic clerics, youth and women-led groups.