A coalition of 22 Christian groups led by the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) have alleged that the declaration of September 12 as public holiday in commemoration of Eid-El-Kabir celebration by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, was not proper.
The group claimed that a similar incident took place in July 2016, when Christian organisations criticised the extension of public holiday by the Federal Government over the non-sighting of the moon by the Sultan.
In a statement by the chairman of NCEF, Mr. Solomon Asemota (SAN) yesterday, on behalf of the coalition in Abuja, the group argued that it was “very improper for the head of the Islamic faith in Nigeria to announce, declare, or extend public holidays.”
“We unequivocally wish to state that it is very improper for the head of the Islamic faith in Nigeria to announce, declare, or extend public holidays. This is the function of the Federal Government and need not be abdicated. This kind of anomalous development has not been taking place in Nigeria until the advent of the Buhari Administration, which has gone to great lengths to deepen religious divide and tension in Nigeria.
“Again, we have no objection whatsoever to the Muslim public holiday but our concern is that in a secular society as enshrined in Section 10 of the Constitution, the responsibility of declaring or announcing a religious public holiday is vested in the Federal Government and such responsibility is sacrosanct.” The Guardian