The Muslim Rights Concern has urged the Nigerian Government to declare the first of Muharram Hijrah, which is the first day in the Islamic calendar, as a public holiday to favour Muslims.
MURIC Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.
According to Akintola, the New Year celebrations according to the Gregorian calendar was “unfair, unjust and undemocratic” to Muslims in Nigeria.
He stated that if the Nigerian Government failed to properly recognise the first day of the Muslim calendar as it has recognised the Christian calendar, it should stop declaring New Year holidays.
Akintola said, “As usual, the Federal Government declared January 1, 2022, a public holiday in recognition of the first day of the Christian Gregorian calendar but because the day fell on a Saturday, FG created an alternative by declaring the following Monday a public holiday.
“This is an aberration and a gross injustice because Nigerian Muslims have been demanding the declaration of the first day of the Islamic calendar as a holiday for more than 20 years to no avail.
“It simply means that FG under President Muhammadu Buhari is also supporting the Christianisation of Nigeria. It considers the first day of the Christian calendar as sacred while the first day of the Islamic calendar is regarded as unimportant.
“MURIC frowns at this lopsided arrangement. It is unfair, unjust and undemocratic. We demand an immediate review of FG’s holiday policy.
“We demand the declaration of the first day of the Islamic calendar as a holiday to justify the 1st January holiday that is declared annually by FG. January 1 holiday is a Christian colonial creation designed to dignify and rubber-cushion the pomp and pageantry of Christmas. In the interest of peace, FG should review this Christian colonial heritage.
“Nigeria became independent 62 years ago and 62 years is long enough to right wrongs perpetrated by the British slavemasters. Democracy is fraudulent without equal participation, equal rights and justice.
“We demand parity now and only the recognition of the first day of the Islamic new year can balance the equilibrium and ensure parity, justice and fair play.
“Holidays are part of the dividends of democracy. However, the dividends must not be dished out in a selective manner.”