Nigeria's 26 million Moslems commemorated the birth of the Prophet Mohammed on Monday (24 March).?
Nigeria's 26 million Moslems commemorated the birth of the Prophet Mohammed on Monday (24 March). This feast is known locally as the Eid el Maulud.
The Moslem population -- about a third of the total population -- is concentrated in the north and west of Nigeria. Throughout the country Moslems gathered in the main towns -- gaily dressed and singing -- to celebrate this holy day in the Islamic calendar.
In the northern town of Kaduna, thousands of devout Moslems congregated in the Ahmadu Bello Stadium for the celebrations. Prayers were said and a number of addressed read.
Nigeria's Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, chose this opportunity to address the nation by urging all Nigerians to make their nation "a peaceful, stable and prosperous country, which will be a pride to us and to posterity." He also asked all Moslems to hold to Islamic teachings, so that they may be guided to a "faithful and a truer and fuller life, a life of humanity and tolerance, justice and selfless service to mankind.