For the second time in two months, Nigerians, especially Muslims in the country, yesterday celebrated a Sallah free of bomb attacks.
This is even as President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State, for the Sallah celebration, expressed appreciation to Nigerians for supporting the federal government’s policies, programmes and actions aimed at improving security, revamping the economy and combating corruption.
Unlike in the past when occasions such as yesterday’s Sallah celebration witnessed movement restriction especially in states in the North Eastern part of the country, residents particularly in Borno State, which was the epicentre of Boko Haram activities for over six years, trooped to worship centres for Eid-el-Kabir prayers, and later retired to different spots in the metropolis for celebrations.
The Eid prayer ground located at Ramat Square in Maiduguri, the state capital, was filled to capacity as worshipers moved in without restriction to observe the annual rite.
Unlike previous years when there used to be restriction of vehicular movement in and outside the city because of the activities of Boko Haram, this year’s Sallah was marked with Muslim faithful going about celebrating without fear because of emerging peace in the state.
Demonstrating the return of peace to the state, the governor, Kashim Shettima, alongside the senator representing Northern Borno senatorial district, Habu Kyari and the director-general, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari, were in Konduga local government area of the state yesterday, where they prayed with returnee Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) from the area.
Governor Shettima who expressed excitement over the emerging peace in the state, explained that his decision to mark the Eid prayers outside the state capital for the first time in six years, was to take the message of peace in Borno to the world.
“Konduga is not more important to us than Askira Uba where two Emirs have returned, it is not more important to us than Gwoza which is bigger and more populated, Konduga is also not more important to us than Monguno, Kukawa, Damboa, Ngala, Dikwa or any other part of the state where our citizens have returned.
“We chose Konduga because of proximity to Maiduguri given the fact that some of those working with me need to go back and slaughter their rams which are mostly in Maiduguri and they also need time with their families, while we have other activities scheduled at the Government House in Maiduguri.