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Published On: Tue, Jul 29th, 2014

Sallah: How fun seekers thronged recreation centres despite terror alert

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Fun seekers being checked by security operatives at the entrance of the Millennium Park, Abuja.

Fun seekers being checked by security operatives at the entrance of the Millennium Park, Abuja.

By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

Despite the heightened terror alert and water-tight security during this year’s Eid-el Fitr celebrations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), many fun seekers trooped in and out of recreation centres in the capital city, for funfair of a sought.

Prior to the Sallah celebrations, FCT and other major cities in the country remained on security red alert, amid fears over eminent terror attacks. A situation many attributed to the recent upsurge of bombings across different cities including Abuja, by the dread Boko Haram group.

However, at the popular Millennium Park along the Unity Fountain, Abuaj, it was full of life with beautiful colourfull decorations from the gate, with people trooping in and out in their beautiful clothing and fluctuate styles, where they engaged in petty buying and selling with good sound music from the traditional flute players, all in the spirit of Sallah.

Like other public places, the millennium park was not left out in the provision of water-tight security within and around its surroundings, as security personnel were all on alert for any unusual moves.

Consequently, the security conscious and agile personnel ensured that those who entered the park were seriously checked and the parking lots keenly observed with apt interest, as loved loves, friends and families enjoyed themselves in the spirit of celebrations.

Peoples Daily recalls that as part of efforts to ensure hitch-free Sallah celebrations, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, had ordered effective and extensive deployment of officers and men of the Nigeria Police and other special operatives, as well as all necessary logistics to all nooks and crannies of the country.

To this end, security officers were positioned at various strategic places in the Territory, to ensure that security measures are reinforced during and after the Sallah celebrations.

Also, a visit to some other public places in the Territory revealed that owing to the security red alert heavy, there was heavy presence of security operatives at strategic positions within the city, leading to light human and vehicular movement throughout the celebrations.

According to Abdulwahab Loya, after the faith-testing month of Ramadan fast period, the joy of having completed what Allah asked Muslim Ummah to do made some of them to defile the terror threat, so as to enjoy the season.

“I came to enjoy myself with my friends in the spirit of Eid-el Fitr, after the Ramadan fasting period, sallah brings joy into one’s life, because I have completed what Allah asked us to do, that is why I and my friends came to park to enjoy our friends.

“Sallah gives us the opportunity to reunite our as family and friends. We are conscious of the security problems in the country, but we still have to celebrate,” Abdulwahab said.

Another fun seeker, Fatima Usman, “I’m enjoying myself out here at the park today,  because it is Sallah celebrations, as you can see we are eating and drinking with our friends, we cannot sit at home.

“Even with the security challenges we are having in FCT, it is Allah that give and takes any that will happen to anyone, and for those were killed in terror attacks, it was destiny to go at that time,” she stressed.

“I’m enjoying the music that is why am at the recreation park dancing in the spirit of Sallah;  Even as dance, I’m watching others too , but thanks be to Allah that security men are all over the place to give me more hope at least,” says one Zara  Ahmed.

Not left out, one Aminu Yusuf, says “We are in the spirit of the celebrations that brings peace and unity, it gives me another time to celebrate with others.

“I have prayed during the Ramadan period for us to have new Nigeria as we celebrate and all the insurgences will stop.”

On his part, a non-Muslim, Christy Paul, says “Although I’m not a Muslim, but I followed my Muslim friends to the parks to join them during the celebrations.”

“A Sallah celebration is good especially when marked with others, hence my decision to enjoy myself and also sell glasses for people willing to buy them.

“Allah  will always guide and protect ,because all our hope depend on him, if He says that ’m going to die in the insecurity, then it is destined to happen,” one Baba Kabriu said.

The Eid-el Fitr holiday includes three days of festivities after a month of prayer and dawn-to dusk fasting for Ramadan, when observant Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and intercourse as a system of testing their faith.

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