Nigeria adopts exceptional security measures for the end of Ramadan (Eid-el-Fitri), the Muslim Holy Month.
The Government has declared national holiday next Monday and Tuesday and has advanced the payment of civil servants’ salaries to today. At the same time, it has ordered to raise the level of alert in a country that is struggling with the violence of Boko Haram, as most of the over 1,600 people killed by Boko Haram in the past years are Muslim.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar IV, the leader of Nigeria’s Muslims, has reiterated his appeals to his followers to maintain a “peaceful behavior” and repeated that “there is no plan to Islamize Nigeria”, except in the minds of a minority of extremists who, as such, “are a menace for all, Christians and Muslims alike”.
The Abuja Government intends to reinforce patrols along the national road network with a special focus on the capital Abuja and the Northern regions, the areas most struck by the wave of terrorism that is sweeping across the continent’s most densely populated country.
The Chief of the State Police, Mohammed Abubakar, assured that controls on churches and mosques, public buildings, attractions and the offices of Nigeria’s most important companies would be intensified.
Abubakar, who is the promoter of a significant campaign to improve the image of the Nigerian police, called on the citizenry to collaborate, and on police agents to be “resolute but well-mannered”.
Police forces are also distributing devices aimed at intercepting or blocking the approach of car-bombs or suicide-bombers to places of worship, to the associations that represent both the Christians and the Muslims as well as other .
The lack of security in Nigeria has already led to the cancellation, for the first time in 220 years, of the spectacular festivities organized for the end of the Ramadan in Kano, the most important Muslim-majority city in Northern Nigeria. Indeed, the last act of violence was recorded only yesterday in Maiduguri, the capital of Boko Haram in North-Eastern Nigeria, where an armed commando attacked a military checkpoint . Two alleged terrorists were killed in the shootout.