By Luminous Jannamike
Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has cautioned state governors against reopening mosques and other places of religious activities, saying it is best to be on the side of caution regarding the Coronavirus disease.
Some states in the country, particularly Borno and Gombe, have relaxed the ban on religious gatherings.
By this decision, they have granted permission to mosques and churches to reopen even though with strict guidelines on physical distancing and proper hygiene.
However, MURIC in a statement by its Executive Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, on Monday said the move may not be wise enough.
The statement reads, “We must be on the side of caution regarding this dangerous virus whose cure has not been found. Muslims should not rush to their graves.
“We suggest that mosques should remain closed until the Federal Government declares the country safe from the pandemic.
“Reopening mosques at this time can be interpreted as withdrawing from the battlefield and leaving the rest of the country to face the fight alone. It may b considered as disobedience to FG’s restriction on crowding.”
According to Akintola, the fundamental right to life should not be violated by a “hasty yet wrongful policy decision”.
He added, “It is, therefore, our considered opinion that the authorities in the three states (Borno, Gombe, and Zamfara) should reconsider their decisions particularly before the Id al-Fitr festival prayer which is fast approaching.
“We remind the three states that the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had advised Muslims against congregations until further notice.
“We, therefore, suggest that the leadership of the Nigerian Muslim community, namely, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the NSCIA should be consulted before the decision to reopen mosques can be implemented.”