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Insecurity: Secessionist agitation could serve as a wake-up call, Sultan tells FG

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III

…advises Muslims to keep an eye out for the new moon

The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, led by Sultan of Sokoto Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged the Federal Government to view the secessionist movement in some parts of the country as a wake-up call.

As part of efforts to address the country’s problems, he also urged the government to take effective steps to rekindle the spirit of patriotism in Nigerians.

Recall that there had been secessionist calls for a state of Biafra in the South East, championed by organisations such as the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB, and the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, as well as Oduduwa Republic by some Yoruba groups in the South West.

In a statement issued to mark the end of Ramadan, the JNI said that the government needed to persuade Nigerians to unite for the common good of all.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the statement was signed yesterday in Kaduna by the JNI Secretary General, Dr Khalid Aliyu.

“We also urge the government to use the perceived calls for Nigeria’s fragmentation from various quarters as a wake-up call to strengthen and/or rejig the security network.

“Address economic distress and address the apparent unemployment bug transparently in order to reinvent the spirit of patriotism for an indivisible Nigeria.”

It was noted that, despite economic deprivation and widespread uncertainty, fasting was well practised, and that almost all mosques observed night prayers.

As a result, the JNI urged Muslims to continue performing virtuous acts learned during Ramadan and to remain disciplined and God-fearing in all their endeavours.

It also reminded Muslims of the importance of giving alms to the poor, including Zakatul fitr, which is distributed before Eid prayers.

“Alms should be distributed to the poor beginning today, before the Eid prayer begins.

“If done quickly, this will assist those who do not have the means for a meal during the upcoming Sallah festivity inside the Muslim Ummah,” JNI said.

The JNI reminded Muslims to fast for six days in the month of Shawwal, as Prophet Muhammad advised (SAW).

It also urged those travelling for the Sallah holiday to drive carefully and pray fervently, in light of the activities of kidnappers and other criminals.

“Nigerian Muslims are urged to focus on the good virtues of Ramadan and to adhere to its teachings in their lives, as the Lord of Ramadan is still and shall remain the Lord of other months.

“We should also pray to Allah, the All-Hearing and All-Merciful, to ease the daunting terrain and responsibility of governance for our leaders.

“May He also hold the Nigerian nation together and restore peace and stability to our beloved country.

In other news, the Sultan, who is also the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has advised Muslim faithful to keep an eye out for the crescent (moon) today.

Prof. Salisu Shehu, the NSCIA’s Deputy Secretary-General, released a statement in which he issued the order.

“If the crescent is seen by informed people on Tuesday night (yesterday), and His Eminence is advised by experts, he will address the press to announce Wednesday, May 12, as the first day of Shawwal (Eid day).

“However, if the crescent is not seen on Tuesday night, Thursday, May 13, becomes the first of Shawwal, 1442 AH (Eid day),” he explained.

The sighting of the Shawwal moon signals the end of the Ramadan fasting period and the start of the Eid-ul-Fitri celebrations.

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