Buhari urges obedience to COVID-19 protocols as Ogun cancels prayers

Muhammadu Buhari


As Muslims observe this year’s Eid-el Kabir, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, urged faithful to adhere strictly to the extant COVID-19 safety protocols of the Presidential Task Force and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

This is even as a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the Nigerian leader would observe prayers with his family at home, as he did during the Eid-el-Fitr festivity held a little over two months ago in deference to the advisories of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and other relevant bodies on the virus.

He advised that large gatherings should be discouraged, adding that where small groups choose to hold the Eid together, face masks are mandatory in addition to social distancing. 

“Advisedly, such prayers should hold outdoors and worshippers are encouraged to bring their own prayer mats.

“In order to stop the spread of the disease, the President will not be receiving Sallah homage by religious, community, party and government leaders. He urged all citizens to observe the occasion as advised by state and local authorities,” the statement stated.

In the same vein, Governor Dapo Abiodun has cancelled prayer sessions in Ogun State. Announcing the cancellation yesterday when he hosted the new Chief Imam of Egbaland, Sheik Sadalahi Bamgbola, in Abeokuta, the governor said the decision was consistent with the resolution of the NSCIA.

He implored every family to observe their supplications at home in a bid to check the community transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Abiodun reminded the adherents that entreaties must be observed with not more than 20 people at a time. His words: “I understand that ‘Ileya’ celebration will be on Friday, July 31, 2020. However, having considered the prevalent circumstances as dictated by COVID-19, this Eid-el-Kabir celebration in Ogun State will follow the same pattern, as we had during the last Eid-el-Fitri.

“We are guided by the counsel of the Ulammah, and especially, in line with the resolution of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.”

He charged his visitor to use his position to aid the spiritual development of the people. Responding, Sheik Bamgbola thanked the governor for his support towards the Muslim community, promising that they would continue to support him in the task of making the state a better place for all

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