Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Christian Groups Confront FG...Say Sultan of Sokoto Can't Be Dictating Public Holidays

A coalition of 22 Christian groups in Nigeria led by National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has condemned the federal government over the declaration of September 12 as public holiday in commemoration of Eid-el-Kabir celebration by Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, stating that it smacks of usurpation of government functions.

The condemnation came barely two months after a similar incident in which they criticised the action of the Sultan, accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of taking instructions from the him.

According to ThisDay, it was reported in July 2016, how Christian groups lampooned government over the extension of public holiday by Presidency over the non-sighting of moon by the Sultan.

In a statement issued by the chairman of NCEF, Solomon Asemota (SAN), on behalf of the coalition, he stated that it was “very improper for the head of the Islamic faith in Nigeria to announce, declare or extend public holidays.

“We call on the federal government to rise to its task and cease abdicating its responsibilities to the head of a religion. We do not want what happened during the time of Abacha, when Sultan Dasuki was dethroned by Abacha to repeat itself. It should not be forgotten that apart from Christianity and Islam, there exist in Nigeria various traditional religions that are the foundation of our culture as Africans.

“The federal government should continue to play its neutral, non-aligned role in the best interest of the nation. Meanwhile, we await the declaration of the Eid el-Kabir public holiday by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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