Some Islamic groups have called on the Federal and state governments in Nigeria to declare Muharram 1, the first day of the Islamic Hijrah Calendar 1438 A.H, a public holiday.
The groups, in separate Hijrah 1438 A.H messages, said such a declaration would be in line with the principle of fairness and justice to Muslims in Nigeria.
The demand came from Muslim Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA) and Muslim Community of Oyo state (MUSCOYS).
Others include National Council of Muslim Youths Organisations (NACOMYO), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN).
MMPN in its statement signed by its President, Abdurrahman Balogun, urged the Federal Government to give recognition to Muslim New Year in the interest of fairness.
Balogun said that declaring Muharram 1, a public holiday would give Muslims a sense of belonging.
In the same vein, UNIFEMGA in its message signed by Abdulwaheed Odeyimka , its National President, called on the government at various levels to recognise the Hijrah calendar and use it side by side with the Gregorian calendar.
It congratulated Muslims and non-Muslims alike for witnessing another new Islamic year and urged them to reflect on their deeds and activities during the past year.
In his own message, the Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaji Ishaq Sanni said the declaration and recognition of Hijrah was long overdue and called for its immediate implementation. He called on the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs to enter into dialogue with the Nigerian Government on the issue.
Sanni equally called for a stringent legislation against rapist in the country, saying it was getting too rampant because the culprits always get away with it.