Thousands of Muslims in Ibadan on Saturday joined other faithful worldwide to commemorate Hijrah, the new Islamic Year 1436 A.H.
A rally, which was coordinated by the state branch of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations, took place at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in spite of the monthly environmental exercise, Muslims from all walks of life started trooping into the stadium as early as 9.20 a.m.
Welcoming guests to the stadium, Nthe coordinator of the youth council in the state, Mas’ud Akintola, said the need to awaken the consciousness of the Ummah on the Islamic calendar informed the sustenance of the programme.
Mr. Akintola said the theme for 1436 A.H Hijrah, “Mobilising Muslims for the 2015 General Elections,’’ was carefully chosen.
The coordinator also commended the recent employment of 5,300 teachers by the state government as well as the flag-off of model schools across the state.
In his goodwill message, Dawud Noibi, the Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria, recalled that the forced migration of Muslims in 622 C.E. was a blessing in disguise.
Mr. Noibi called on those in position of authority to treat every sector of the society with justice and fairness as exemplified by Prophet Muhammad.
“We also wish to renew our call on other states in the South West Zone as well as the Federal Government to declare public holiday for Muslims to mark their own new year, ’’ Noibi said.
Speaking on the significance of Hijrah, Sheikh Lukman Busari urged all Muslims to embrace good virtues and shun their evil ways in the New Year.
Mr. Busari said that the best form of celebration of Hijrah was to emulate the exemplary life of Prophet Muhammad.
The Chairman of the occasion and Balogun Mumini of Yoruba land, Alhaji Rasheed Adesokan, implored Muslims to be more prayerful so as to confront the various challenges in the country.
In his goodwill message, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State congratulated Muslims in the state for witnessing the New Year and urged them to continue to be law abiding.
Mr. Ajimobi, who was represented by Shakirullah Fajinmi, said his administration was committed to promoting peace, unity and religious harmony in the state.(NAN)