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By Abideen Muhammed
COHI APPEALS TO GOVERNMENT OVER HIJRAH
The Council of Higher Institutions (COHI) in Lagos State has appealed to the federal government to listen to the demand of the Muslims in declaring Hijrah day as national holiday henceforth.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the Coordinator of COHI, Taofeek Iyanda.
The statement read in part, “The declaration will mean that our government believe and operate on the principle of equity and justice.As we speak, some states like Oyo and Osun already declared Tuesday, 11th September, 2018 as holiday so that the Muslim can enjoy the new year – this is nothing but fairness. Our counterparts are being given five national holidays while we still struggle to maintain just three.
“We only want the federal government of Nigeria to do the needful by honoring every first of Hijrah (Islamic calendar) as they do for Gregorian calendar (the christian mode of counting). After all, at the moment, the Christians enjoy five national holidays while Muslims is just three. Thus, adding Hijrah to it is not an excess.
“The unequivocal holiday we join all other meaningful Nigerians to demand is a proof of our sincerity to have a balanced and egalitarian
society. It is uncalled for in Nigeria that exists as a single entity to provide the needs of others and deny the rest. In fact, government has no moral justification for such denial which is a kind of marginalisation. All we are saying is for the government to recognise the Muslim new year in the nation.”
COHI, a student based organ of MSSN Lagos that controls over 10,000 students in Lagos State-based higher institutions, also urged students in higher institutions to be a law abiding citizens, pursue academic excellence and observe the religious rites in this new year.
The statement added, “Surely, the month of Allah, Muharram is a great and blessed month. It is the first month of the Hijri year and is one of the sacred months.
“All the Muslim students are hereby urged to take the lessons embedded in the teaching of Hijrah as we mark 1440AH. It implies that, it is now over one thousand four hundred and forty years the prophet has been sent to the world as a mercy to Mankind. He liberated the Arab then from their ignorance and established the foundation of civilization.
“The above message means that Muslim must strive to attain academic excellence, spiritual uplift, moral rectitude and morally balance. Also, Muslims are problem solvers any where they exist and not agents of chaos in any form.
“We should also use the medium to pray for Nigeria in this present situation. At the moment, Nigeria need our sincere hope and prayer so that we may prosper”.
“We need to seek Allah’s deliverance from looters who loot our common patrimony and seek power for their self whims and caprices and not on the basis of serving our land. Also, it is pertinent to seek Allah’s protection as against 2019 national election.
“Oh God, help our leaders to lead us right. Direct their affairs, put in their heart nothing but the love of this nation. We seek your guidance and protection. Let insurgency become a story of the past in the country. Amin”.