…As Buhari treks home from Eid praying ground in Daura
Muslims faithful in Nigeria, on Tuesday, joined their counterparts around the world to celebrate a peaceful Eid-el-Kabir throughout the country.
This is even as President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State, for the Sallah celebration, demonstrated his physical fitness to run for a second term by trekking 800 metres from the Eid-praying ground to his private residence.
Unlike in the past when occasions such as Tuesday’s Sallah celebration witnessed movement restriction in certain Northern states, especially in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, which had been the epicentre of Boko Haram activities for the past years, Muslims faithful trooped out en masse to worship centres for the Eid-el-Kabir prayers, and later retired to different relaxation spots for celebrations.
The Daily Times recalls that in the recent past, movement of people and vehicles, especially in the insurgency-ravaged states were restricted to protect lives and property during festive celebrations.
But our correspondents, who monitored the celebration across the six geo- political zones, report that people came out in their numbers to celebrate the Sallah.
In Daura, Katsina State, President Buhari shunned protocol and opted to trek some 800 metres, acknowledging cheers from supporters, who lined up on his home route to catch a glimpse of him.
According to a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the trekking by the president was a positive response that he is physically fit to contest for a second term.
The statement also revealed that the people who thronged the street to show support for his administration following the large turn -out of people who trooped out to catch a glimpse of him.
Shehu said, “I think the president has done one thing today that the issue is not how old one is but how fit he is; how healthy he is. Now the president has proven his fitness and well-being to continue in office is a settled matter.
“I think that if people want to campaign against him, they should do so on issues and that age is of no significance to Nigerians. The President is fit, he is healthy; he is good to go for second term”.
Meanwhile, in Gombe State, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo urged politicians to shun politics of blackmail and violence as well as ensure the sustainability of peace and unity in the country.
Pleading with those vying for political offices to maintain decorum and avoid using inflammable words, Dankwambo said that “as we are approaching the critical political era, it is our hope that politicians in the country will allow the peace and unity of Nigeria.”
According to him, the celebration is an opportunity to learn the lessons of Eid-el-Kabir by living peacefully in obedience to the dictates of Allah.
“I admonish us all to learn from the lesson of Eid-el-Kabir and show love to one another irrespective of religious or ethnic differences.
“We must imbibe the tenets of Islam by promoting harmony and peaceful co-existence amongst our diverse people.
“Eid-el-Kabir festival connotes sacrifice, selflessness, love and obedience to the dictates of Allah”, he added.
Also in Kano State, one of our correspondents, who monitored the celebration, reports that millions of Muslim faithful led by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje observed the Eid-Kabir prayer session at the Kofar Mata Eid ground under tight security.
The faithful were led in conducting the prayer session by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, who recited verses from the Holy Quran in Arabic Language and proceeded to interpret the messages from the Quran into the Hausa Language.
The Emir of Kano, who conducted the Eid Kabir preaching session in Kano, called on Muslims to imbibe the fear of Allah.
The revered royal father urged the Muslim faithful to emulate Prophet Ibrahim (AS), and Abraham by forbidding all acts that are proscribed by Islam.
The Kano monarch warned politicians that as Muslims their political interest is not worth the shedding of human blood.
On his part, the Chief Imam of Kano State, Prof Mohammed Sani Zahradeen, appealed to Muslims to continue to pursue the path of peace, while also urging Muslims to continue to uphold the tenets of Islam, further appealing to all Muslims to pray for peace to reign supreme in Nigeria.
Among dignitaries that observed the Eid session were Governor Ganduje, members of the Kano State executive council, the Commissioner of Police, Kano State Command, Rabiu Yusuf, Senator Kabiru Gaya, Senator Barau Jubrin, district heads, captain of industries, and renowned Kano businessmen.
Security operatives also restricted motorists from parking their vehicles close to the Eid ground, while pedestrians in possession of sealed or suspected item were scrutinized before been allowed passage into the Eid premises.
Security operatives were also positioned at strategic locations around the Kofar Mata Eid Ground, while officers and men of the police drawn from the mounting troop section kept vigil at strategic locations.
Spokesman of the Kano State Police command, Magaji Musa Majia, disclosed that security operatives are on alert to ensure a smooth free celebration and appealed to residents to be conscious of happenings around their environments prior, during and after the Sallah celebrations.
Meanwhile, the Chief Imam of Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, Alhaji Mufutau Ayanbadejo, has decried the spate of corruption in the country and urged President Buhari not to relent in his anti-corruption war.
Speaking while delivering his sermon at the Ijebu-Ode Eid praying ground on Tuesday in commemoration of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, Ayanbadejo described as worrisome that those perceived to have contributed to the menace of corruption were still walking free in spite of concrete evidence against them.
He added that capital punishment for corrupt practice or long jail terms for high profile personalities would serve as deterrent to others.
The cleric urged politicians to be accountable, truthful and not to fail those who entrusted them with their mandate.
Ayanbadejo also stressed the need for the government to look inwards and initiate programmes and policies that would reduce the level of penury and hunger in the land.
He called on Muslims to live in peace with one another as the Holy Quran preaches.
In Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, residents marked a peaceful Sallah celebration.
Our correspondents, who visited the Millennium Park and Wonderland, report that the two fun centres were jam-parked by celebrants amidst tight security.
Idris Ibrahim, a resident of FCT, said the celebration was special in the lives of all Muslims, adding that “the origin of Eid-el -Kabir is from the Quran when Allah asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Isma’il as an act of submission to God, but God later intervened through Jibra’il and told Ibrahim that his sacrifice has been accepted that he should use a ram instead of Isma’il”.
He added that he was at the Millennium Park to have fun since his parents do not live in Abuja.
Another resident, Mohammed Sanni from Kogi State, described the celebration as nice, adding that the occasion provides people with the opportunity to avoid sin.