Sultan: No Report on Moon-sighting, Ramadan Fasting Continues Today

•Declares tomorrow Eid-el-fitri 

•Leaders call for prayers for country

By Our Correspondents

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has declared the continuation of the Ramadan fast for the Muslim faithful today.

The sultan said the decision was because there was no positive report of the sighting of the crescent of Shawwal 1445 AH on the 29th of Ramadan 1445 AH.

In a statement by Deputy Secretary-General of NSCIA, Professor Salisu Shehu, the council said, “Consequently, Ramadan fast will continue tomorrow Tuesday, 9th April 2024 as the 30th day of Ramadan.

“Therefore, Wednesday, 10th April 2024 is hereby declared as the 1st day of Shawwal 1445 AH and the day of Eid-il-fitr.

“The Council prays that Almighty Allah accept our fasting and other virtuous acts in Ramadan and grant us all peaceful and blissful Eid celebrations.

 “Wassalamu alaikum wa-Rahmatullah.”

Earlier, the Sultanate Council Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, in conjunction with the National Moon Sighting Committee, had also said it did not receive any report from various Moon Sighting Committees across the country confirming Shawwal 1445AH.

The group said, in a statement by Professor Sambo Wali Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs of the Sultanate Council, “Therefore, Tuesday, 9th April, 2024 is the 30th day of the month of Ramadan 1445AH. His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has accepted the report and accordingly declared Wednesday, 10th April, 2024 as the first day of Shawwal 1445AH. (Day of Eid-El-Fitr).

“His Eminence, the Sultan, felicitates with the Nigerian Muslim Ummah and wishes them Allah’s guidance and blessings. The Sultan while urging the Muslim Ummah to continue to pray for peace, progress and development of the country.

“He also wishes all Muslims a happy Eid-El-Fitr. May Allah (SWT) accept our religious deeds.”

Some Nigerian leaders had yesterday, believing that today was   Eid-el-fitri, gone ahead to call for prayers of peace and unity for the country as Muslims from all parts of the world, supposedly celebrated the end of the Ramadan fast, congratulating the Muslim faithful for the Eid-el-fitri.

For instance, President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, congratulated Muslims in Nigeria for the successful end of 30 days Ramadan fast, and wished them Eid Mubarak as they celebrated the feast of  Eid El Fitri.

Akpabio’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh.

He also urged Muslims to continue to offer prayers for peace, unity and prosperity of Nigeria, saying, “Islam is a religion of peace and if its adherents go to God in prayer with sincerity, He will surely answer.”

Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr Hyacinth Iormem Alia, also, while congratulating the Muslim faithful in his state on the end of Ramadan, advised the Muslim Ummah to uphold the lessons of kindness, forgiveness and sacrifice, which the month of Ramadan taught.

The governor identified insecurity and unstable economy as major challenges standing against speedy development of Nigeria and the state. He called on Muslims to always remember to put the state at the centre of their prayers.

His Cross River State counterpart, Senator Bassey Otu, extended his congratulations to the Muslim community in the state on the occasion of the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Otu, in a goodwill message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Nsa Gill, in Calabar, urged Muslims to reflect upon, and practice the fundamental principles and teachings of Ramadan, while giving thanks for successfully completing their fasting period.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, urged Lagos residents, particularly Christians and Muslims, to continue to live in love and peace, just as they demonstrated during the Lenten and Ramadan seasons.

Sanwo-Olu assured that his administration would continue to do everything that made Lagosians proud of his government in the areas of infrastructure, education, transportation, and health, among others.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, spoke during the Iftar programme held for media practitioners at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Yahaya, rallied the people of the state towards collective prayer, unity and resilience amidst prevailing economic challenges. Yahaya assured the people that the current difficulties were transient and better days laid ahead.

Speaking during the closing of Ramadan Tafsir at Government House Mosque, a session led by the Mosque’s chief Imam, Sheikh Zakariyya Ajiya, Yahaya urged the faithful to remain steadfast in their devotion and to channel their energies towards productive ventures, particularly as the wet season approached.

Emphasising the importance of agriculture in fostering economic growth and food security, the governor encouraged citizens to seize opportunities in farming.

Police Uncover Plans to Disrupt Sallah Festivities

Kano State Police Command said it uncovered plans by some faceless groups in the state to disrupt the forthcoming Sallah festivities. Commissioner of Police in the state, Usaini Gumel, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the command’s readiness to maintain law and order during and after the festival.

Gumel said sponsors of the plan were also in their close watch, as security agencies were following up and trailing them. He added that the planners would be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.

He stated, “We are aware of all these, and we are fully ready to decisively deal with this ill-fated decision unless the planners change for the better.

“The command is aware of plans by some already identified religious and political pressure groups who are mounting pressure on the state government to succumb to disregarding the ongoing judicial processes, such as the matter before the court on Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara and to speak on issues related to the status of the Emirates and Emirship in the state.

“The plans that have been uncovered show that they are aimed to disrupt the Sallah activities, the existing peace in the state and to cause embarrassment to the State Government planned activities.

“In addition to physical security, we have deployed plain clothes security personnel in the state across the five (05) Emirates capitals of Kano, Bichi, Gaya, Rano and Karaye and including other identified areas to work with the communities in identifying spoilers and the enemies of the society to apprehend them for the overall community safety.”

NSCDC Deploys over 40,000 Personnel

Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Audi, ordered the strategic deployment of over 40,000 personnel of the corps across the federation to ensure the protection of lives and property, and safeguard the nation’s critical national assets and infrastructure during this year’s eid-el-fitri.

According to a statement by the spokesman of NSCDC, Babawale Afolabi, the commandant general gave the directive based on current security challenges and the need to proactively tackle crime and criminalities before they were perpetrated.

He stated that the corps would deploy both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to nip in the bud all acts of criminality before, during and after the eid-el-filtri celebration in various states of the nation.

The statement said, “As the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close, on behalf of the management and personnel of the NSCDC, it is my pleasure to congratulate all our Muslim brothers all over the nation, wishing them a blessed, peaceful and joyful Eid-el-Fitr.

“This felicitation is with unwavering assurance that the celebration will go very smoothly and without any hitch as officers and men of the corps would be deployed strategically to public places, Eid prayer grounds, shopping malls, markets, motor parks and various flash points across various formations and states of the federation.

“Notably, the state commandants have been directed to deploy their personnel to strategic locations and flash points while ensuring strong collaborations with other sister security agencies and adequate supervision of their personnel for effective service delivery.”

Biu Directs Operatives to Cover All 51 Critical Corridors

The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dauda Biu, directed the over 28,000 corps’ operatives (Regular and Special Marshals) to effectively cover the 51 critical corridors in the country during the Eid-El Kabir special patrol.

This directive was in view of the envisioned increase in vehicular movement and the need to make the highways safe by eliminating all variables that propelled road traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries on the country’s highways.

Among the corridors to be covered by the operatives are Akwanga-Lafiya-Makurdi, Jos-Bauchi-Gombe, Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi corridor, Katsina-Kano-Wudil-Dutse-Azare-Potiskum corridor, Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos corridor, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano corridor, and Okene-Ogori-Isua-Owo corridor.

Also covered are Makurdi-Otukpo-Obollo Afor-9th Mile corridor, Asaba-Abraka-Ughelli-Warri corridor, Ibadan-Ogere-Sagamu corridor, Sagamu-Mowe-Lagos corridor, Bauchi-Alkaleri-Kaltungo, Kaduna-Kachia-Kwoi-Manchok, Keffi-Nasarawa-Toto-Abaji-Lokoja, and Lekki-Epe-Ijebu Ode, among others.

Speaking in Abuja, Biu appreciated the motoring public for their cooperation in making the roads safe during the 2024 Easter outing.

To achieve a better result during the Sallah celebrations, he directed operatives of the corps to deploy all professional expertise towards ensuring that there was free flow of traffic, prompt clearing of obstructions and effective enforcement of traffic laws.

Cleric Tasks FG on Cost of Food

A cleric and National Missionary of Daaru-r-Rahmat(DARMAT) Islamic Society, Sheikh Musibau-deen Olawale, urged the federal and state governments to intensify efforts on the reduction of food prices in the country to reflect the relief on exchange rate.

Olawale, in a statement issued in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said, “The prevalent economic situation occasioned by the increase in the prices of foods in the country has continued to have a toll on the livelihood of all the Nigerians.

“The development is so devastating that it is very hard for the people to meet their three day’s meals and this has affected the health growth of the populace.

“And with the improved Nigerian naira against dollar, I am appealing to the federal and state governments to work together on this and ensure that the  prices of foods stabilised so as to enable the people have access to the foods with easy.”

Ansar-ud-deen Offers Prayers for National Security, Socio-economic Rejuvenation

Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria offered prayers for the success of the administration of President Bola Tinubu and other leaders at various levels of government in the country.

The society beseeched God to continuously shower His blessings and mercies upon the country and its leaders in their individual and collective efforts to build a virile economy, ensure national security, and promote peaceful cohabitation.

It emphasised the need for the citizens to renew their faith in God, inculcate the culture of prayer in all they do, and refrain from cursing their leaders and the country, stating that prayers remain the only panacea for some of the identified shortcomings bedevilling the country.

Chief Imam of Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria, Abuja branch, Dr. Musa Olaofe, attributed some of the challenges confronting the country to citizens’ attitude to prayer. He emphasised the need for all and sundry to rise to the occasion and prioritise prayers, while working hard in the quest to promote peaceful coexistence, economic growth and progress of the country.

Olaofe explained that the idea of the special Jummat prayer session for the country stemmed from a desire to contribute to the nation’s progress and development, while also seeking divine wisdom and guidance for its leaders.

He stated, “Today is a special day to pray for Nigeria, being the last Friday of Ramadan. That is why Ansar-ud-deen organised a special prayer for this country.

“To us, that is the only thing we can give to Nigeria as a way to seek God’s face and beseech Him to bestow our leaders across levels of government divine wisdom, knowledge and understanding to lead our country to the path of growth, progress and prosperity.

“As believers, we are not perturbed over the current situation because we believe strongly in Almighty Allah and we know that in no distance time, Nigeria will overcome the predicaments.

“That is why we have once again come before Him to seek His face in order to continuously guide our leaders aright and strengthen them in their collective and individual efforts to build a nation of our dream.”

In his remarks, Chairman of the 2024 Ramadan Committee of Ansar-ud-Deen Society, Abuja branch, Ismail Omipidan, revealed that the society had successfully provided daily meals for over 500 fasting Muslims since the commencement of the holy month.

Omipidan extolled all members of the society for their support for the committee, just as he thanked well-meaning Nigerians, who donated generously to the society throughout the month of Ramadan to execute the feeding initiative and other obligations targeted at propagating and promoting Islam.

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