THE Eid-el-Fitr festivities were celebrated peacefully in most states of the North-East, as security was tightened in Borno and Yobe, two states worst hit by the activities of insurgents.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that vehicular movements were restricted in the two states for certain period to avert any ugly incident, especially during the congregation prayers.
Borno State Police Command had announced total ban on vehicular movement during the prayer time, resulting in the closure of most roads in the metropolis.
Security personnel were also deployed to all prayer grounds to screen worshippers at the entrance.
Some worshippers interviewed commended the security agents for their efforts in ensuring absolute security at the prayer grounds.
“We thank God for witnessing hitch-free Eid-el-Fitr prayers in Maiduguri. Initially, most of us were skeptical about the possibility of the prayers being conducted without any incident,” Malam Bukar Gana, a worshipper at the Ramat Square Ground, Maiduguri, told NAN.
Malam Ibrahim Alhassan, another worshipper at the Customs Prayer Ground, Maiduguri, also lauded the efforts of the security agents in ensuring peaceful conduct of the prayers.
“I want to commend the security agents for putting in place tight security in all areas during the prayers.
“They should work towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency so that we can have long lasting peace in the state,” he said.
In Yobe State, the Eid-el-Fitr congregation prayers were also conducted peacefully, just as a 12-hour restriction on vehicular movements was enforced across the state.
NAN reported that armed security men and vigilance groups were placed at strategic locations to keep vigil on movement of people to the prayer grounds.
Some Muslim faithful in Damaturu expressed gratitude to God for the peace enjoyed in the state throughout the one month fasting period.
Alhaji Usman Muhammad, a resident of Damaturu, said: “We have seen tremendous improvement in peace and security across the state.
“During the fasting period, we had prayed for peace to reign in Nigeria, and for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Another resident, Aliyu Musa, said the people of the North-East had every reason to celebrate this administration for its commitment to restore peace and security in the region.
“We welcome the restriction of vehicular movement because, it was done in the interest of our safety,” he said.
In his Sallah message, the state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, urged the people to use the period to pray for the country and improved health for President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We should also, as good citizens, more than ever before, be prepared to work and act together in our resolve for the attainment of a happier and more prosperous future for our state and indeed our great country, Nigeria,” he said.
The situation was also the same in Adamawa, another state that had grappled with the menace of Boko Haram insurgents.
NAN reported that no ugly incident was recorded across the state, just as rainfall forced a shift in the venue of the congregation prayers from open prayer ground to Yola Central Mosque.
The rainfall also affected the staging of durbah at the palace of the Lamido of Adamawa, usually associated with such celebrations.
Speaking while receiving members of various groups and associations who paid him Sallah homage, Governor Muhammadu Bindow said that reports reaching him from security agencies indicated that the celebration was hitch-free across the state.
Bindow urged the people to remain law-abiding and continue to support government at all levels.
In Gombe State, celebrations went on peacefully, but it was not business as usual for commercial vehicle operators who lamented the dearth of passengers.
Speaking with NAN in Gombe, chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers, Malam Ibrahim Bala, said the situation at the various parks in the state was worrisome.
Bala, who attributed the problem to the economic hardship in the country, said the motorists were ready to reduce fares if they would get passengers.
Downpour in the early hours of Sunday prevented teeming Muslim faithful in Bauchi metropolis from performing congregation prayers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the rainfall, which started at about 8:00a.m. lasted about two hours.
As it intensified, worshipers had to seek refuge in nearby buildings and tents.
When the rainfall subsided, most of them, particular women and children, returned home, while few others sought for alternative places where the prayers were delayed.
Meanwhile, Bauchi State Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Liman Bello, has called on civil servants in the state to use the period to pray for continued peace and tranquillity in the state.
In a Sallah message to workers, signed by him and made available to NAN in Bauchi, Bello further called on them to always reciprocate the gesture of the state government.