May 22, 2020

Eid-il-Fitr: FCT minister bans Eid Congregational Prayers

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA: Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Malam Muhammadu Musa Bello has restated the ban on congregational prayers in the territory, urging the Islamic faithful to observe the Eid-il-Fitr prayers in their homes.

“The FCT Administration hereby informs residents of the FCT especially Muslim faithful that following the statement by the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), under the leadership of His Eminence, The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, regarding the suspension of the Eid Congregational prayers in towns and cities across the Federation, this year’s Eid-el Fitr prayers will not hold on Eid-grounds across the FCT”, the Administration said in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary CPS to the minister, Anthony Ogunleye.

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The statement noted that this is in tandem with the guidelines, issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that all places of worship in the FCT and other high-risk states of the Federation should remain closed during the recently extended period of lockdown.

“To achieve this objective of enforcing these guidelines, meetings were held earlier between the Administration and leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the League of FCT Imams.

“The meeting acknowledged that the primary concern of all leaders and public officials was to save lives. Because of this common goal, the leaders of the religious organisations have agreed to work towards the eventual opening up of worship places at a time to be determined by the Presidential Task Force, based on medical advice.

“A team consisting of representatives of the religious organisations and their leadership, as well as the FCT has already been constituted to look at what the modalities and protocols of operating places of worship will be when COVID-19 lockdown of the FCT is relaxed.

“The FCT Administration, therefore, calls for support and understanding of all residents as efforts are being made to curtail and eventually end the spread of the COVID-19 in the Territory”, the statement added.