The National Christian Elders’ Forum, NCEF, has frowned at the decision of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III to declare September 12 as public holiday in commemoration of Eid-El-Kabir celebration.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Chairman of NCEF, Solomon Asemota, SAN, on Monday.
According to the group, the Sultan’s action was the height of impunity and he had no right to declare or extend public holidays.
The group noted that such announcement was the duty of the Federal Government, adding that such an action did not take place until the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement read, “We unequivocally wish to state that it is very improper for the head of the Islamic faith in Nigeria to announce, declare, or extend Public Holidays.
“This is the function of the Federal Government and need not be abdicated. This kind of anomalous development has not been taking place in Nigeria until the advent of the Buhari Administration which has gone to great lengths to deepen religious divide and tension in Nigeria.
“Again, we have no objection whatsoever to the Muslim Public Holiday but our concern is that in a secular society as enshrined in Section 10 of the Constitution, the responsibility of declaring or announcing a religious Public Holiday is vested in the Federal Government and such responsibility is sacrosanct.”