From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdulganiyu Agbotomokekere, on Wednesday, performed Eid al-Fitr prayer for ths Muslim faithful at the Ibadan Central Eid praying ground at Agodi.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan, and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, were among dignitaries that observed the prayer at the praying ground. A former deputy governor of the state and the current National Vice Chairman, South West, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, was also said to have observed the prayer.
The Chief Imam of Ibadan had on Tuesday morning posted a statement on his Facebook wall that Ramadan ended on Tuesday, and that by Wednesday morning he would lead the Eid prayer. He fulfilled his promise on Wednesday morning.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had said on Tuesday that the Shawal moon, which would have signalled the end of this year’s Ramadan, was not sighted, directing that the fasting would continue to a full 30 days on Wednesday, with the Eid al-Fitr festival to be observed on Thursday.
Notable Muslims such as the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States, Alhaji Dawud Akinola, and a former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, were not seen at the Ibadan Central Eid praying ground at Agodi. Sources indicate that Ladoja, for many years, has been observing his sallah prayers at the University of Ibadan.
Though the Eid prayer was well attended, the site was not crowded compared to past religious exercises. The reason given for the perceived low attendance was that a lot of Muslims followed the directives of the NSCIA.
The Ramadan fast customarily comes to an end after 30 days, whether the Shawal moon is sighted or not.