Dayo Johnson – Akure
The Muslims leadership across Ondo state on Thursday, doused tension over a plan by their members to observe today’s prayers at various mosques despite a government ban on a religious gathering in the state to curb COVID- 19 pandemics.
Vanguard gathered that the Muslims sect in the state equally wanted a waiver from the state governor Rotimi Akeredolu to observe the prayers today as approved for Christians to observe next week’s Easter Sunday celebration.
The various Muslims groups have protested to their leaders that they should equally be allowed to observe their Friday prayers banned three weeks ago following precautionary measures put in place by the state government.
Recall that the state Christian Association of Nigeria CAN meet with the governor and he partially relaxed the ban on the religious gathering by allowing Christian to hold services on Easter Sunday.
To douse tension, the General Secretary, League of Imams and Alfas in Ondo State, Alh. Abdulrasheed Akerele in a statement to leagues of lmams and Alfas in the state said ” The League of Imams and Alfas, Ondo State Under the leadership of Sheikh (Dr) AO Aladesawe has directed that all Chief Imams, Alfas, and the Muslim ummah are to be reminded of the total ban placed on Public gathering which includes Congregation services by the Federal and the State Governments.
Akerele who is the Chief Imam of Supare Akoko said that “All Chief Imams, Imams Alfas, and the Muslim ummah are to observe prayers at their respective homes until the total ban is relapsed by the Government.
Meanwhile, the state government has justified reason for the special relief granted Christians to celebrate Easter Sunday.
The information and Orientation commissioner Donald Ojogo said it was because its one of the most important annual celebrations of the Church.
Ojogo said “That is the true position; more so that the word ‘restriction’ advisedly applied to provide the caveat for this special concession in line with crowd control regulations.
“Accordingly, the State Government has already communicated to the Ondo State Police Command, this concession granted CAN to, as it were, temporise and allow the celebration of Easter Sunday in CHURCHES.
“This is, however, without prejudice to all precautionary measures and guidelines earlier put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic as enunciated in Government’s earlier statements and as agreed to by the leadership of CAN.
Ojogo added that “For emphasis, there will be no Easter Retreat (Good Friday Programmes) or the Jumat service gatherings on Friday or ‘Gallilee’ on Monday. The ban on all social, political and religious gatherings continues afterwards, until further notice.