By: Valentine Adese, Alfred Saiki and Ifeanyi Okonkwo
With the extension of the Eid-Mubarak holiday proclaimed by the All Progressive Congress APC Federal Government administration led President Muhammadu Buhari, from Tuesday, 5th July to 7th July, 2016, Nigerians have began to cry out alleging hardship owing to the economic effects.
According to most who spoke to this Newspaper, they stated that the hardship is occasioned because the extension was not planned for.
While for the private business operators, the extension was an economic plow since the turnout is expected to be low and financial transactions would be frustrated owing to the closure of the banking services within the period.
For the legally minded Nigerians, the extension was a clear recognition of the Islamic religion and its practices by the Federal Government led by the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari. They argued and stated that holidays in the country are already documented in the country’s administrative calendar, so, “an alteration must take a process not the autocratic way the extension was simply proclaimed by the FG.
You would recall that Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), provides that:
“The Government of the Federation or State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion.”
In putting forth their argument to this, the legal minds in Jos, the capital of Plateau State, who spoke to this Newspaper but gave a condition not to have their names in print, said, “For the President to reconsider the happenings in a religion and condition the life, business and other activities of Nigerians to tailor with it, is simply an act of adoption, and this is what the spirit of the condition is against.”
However in Plateau state, the Sallah celebration has formally kicked off with Muslim faithful seen going to various mosques for prayers.
On the other hand, the extension is another extended economic hardship for the Public and Civil Servants in Plateau State, as hopes of getting their salaries on Thursday, 7th July, 2016, is already dashed.
Although the state government has already put the delay of the payment of the salaries at the door step of a Bank, the workers are simply silent on that, as the need of the money to celebrate the Sallah has been defeated.