Sa’ad Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto, says the Muslim Ramadan fast will commence on Thursday.
Abubakar made the announcement in a nationwide address at his palace, confirming the sighting of the moon on Wednesday.
The sighting of the moon marks the end of the month of Shaaban and the ushering in of the month of Ramadan.
The moon was said to have been sighted in states including Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe, Bauchi, Rivers, Jigawa, and Niger.
“Consequently, tomorrow becomes the first day of Ramadan and I urge Muslims in the country to commence fasting according to the teaching of Islam,” Abubakar said.
“I implore us to devote ourselves to Ibadats in this Holy Month and to pray fervently for our leaders to continue steering the affairs of this country successfully as well as the sustenance of peace, stability and development of this nation.
“I also urged them to rededicate themselves to the teaching of Islam and continue to live in peace with one another irrespective of religious differences.”
Fasting (saum) is one of five pillars of Islam, alongside declaration of monotheism, praying five times a day, alms-giving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
During Ramadan, Muslims have to abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to sunset.
Devout Muslims also mark the month by intense worship, performing special nightly prayers and reading Islam’s holy book, the Qur’an.