By Our Reporters
AS Muslims in Nigeria join their counterparts globally to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his call on Nigerians to continue to exercise patience and understanding over the inconveniences created by precautionary measures against COVID-19, especially the regulations on places of worship.
His plea came as leaders urged Muslims to use the celebration to pray to Allah to save the country from COVID-19, insecurity and other challenges.
In his Eid-el-Kabir message, President Buhari said the outbreak of coronavirus has made it difficult for people to gather in places of worship as they are used to.
Urging worshipers to abide by the guidelines for safety of their lives, and loved ones, he said: “No elected government would intentionally take away its people’s religious freedom by limiting the number of people that will gather in worship centres at the same time.
“The guidelines are dictated by necessity in order to safeguard public health and should, therefore, not be perceived as an infringement on people’s right to worship.
“The coronavirus pandemic has had devastating adverse impacts on our social, economic and spiritual lives. The preventive guidelines we have introduced to contain the spread of this deadly disease have unfortunately limited people’s freedom to gather and worship in large numbers in mosques and churches.
“Every measure that has been introduced to contain this disease may have its unintended consequences on the daily lives of our people, and I therefore, call on Muslims and other faithful to continue to show more understanding with the government as we take correct steps to protect our people through the social distancing.’’
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, commended the sacrifices of Muslims and Christians in abiding by the COVID-19 guidelines for the good of society
He assured that: “On our own part, we shall continue to provide economic reliefs to the people to minimize the unintended hardships these guidelines have inflicted.”
While wishing Muslims a happy celebration, the President called on worshipers not to forget the symbolic significance of the sacrifices of the Eid-el-Kabir.
Like President Buhari, other leaders including Senate President Ahmad Lawan; governors, senators and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu saluted Moslems and stressed the need for unity, and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians amid growing socio-economic, health and security challenges.
Lawan, Omo-Agege salute Muslims
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in a personal statement, said with total submission to God’s will and sacrifice, Nigeria can confidently confront the present challenges as individuals and as a nation.
Lawan urged Muslims to be mindful of the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic and adhere strictly to the safety protocols prescribed by the nation’s public health authorities as they celebrate.
Assuring that the National Assembly is collaborating with the Executive in responding to the pandemic as it affects our economy and general public system, he said: ‘’Through total submission to His will, we can confidently confront our challenges as individuals and as a nation, assured that Allah will intervene decisively at the most appropriate moment.
“As people of faith, therefore, let us continue to seek the face of the Almighty in our various national wars, be they against insecurity or the COVID-19 pandemic.’’
Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege said that though the prevailing circumstances may test the faith of many across the world, Nigerian Muslims have continued to demonstrate deep faith as the country moves towards overcoming various obstacles to its development.
Tinubu urges greater compassion toward all
Also, Tinubu, in a message he signed personally, regretted that for the first time in recent history, prospective pilgrims from Nigeria and other parts of the world cannot physically participate in this year’s Hajj.
He said: ‘’We must still walk in the spirit of the Hajj and conduct ourselves according to the compassionate ways of Almighty Allah.
“This means we must share with those who do not have; we must comfort those in distress, we must pass bread to those who are hungry and give a cup to those thirsty. Almighty Allah calls on us to live for others as well as ourselves.’’
Obi, Ugwuanyi call for intense prayers over nation’s challenges
Vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general election, Mr. Peter Obi, and the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on their part, asked Nigerian Muslims to use the solemn period of Sallah to present Nigeria’s discomforting situation to Allah for divine intervention.
Obi said that poor leadership was threatening nationhood and there was need to seek God’s intervention.
Uzodinma preaches love
Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, said that this year’s Eid-el-Kabir is peculiar because it is celebrated when the world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, of which Nigeria is not an exception.
He said: ”While calling on our muslim brothers and sisters to imbibe the spirit of love, peace, kindness and sacrifice fall of which Prophet Mohammed is noted for, they should also use the opportunity of the Eid-el-Kabir to pray fervently for the end of the challenge of coronavirus pandemic.”
He advised muslim faithful, particularly those in Imo State to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols as they make merry, urging them to reflect deeply on those who do not have what it takes to celebrate during this period of Eid-el-Kabir and show them love.
Let’s pray to flatten curve of COVID-19, says Akeredolu
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has asked Muslims across the country to joins voices in prayers to flatten the curve of Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
In his Eid-El-Kabir message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, Akeredolu said Muslims in the state “must use the occasion to showcase the credible principles of love, sacrifice and tolerance as the embodiment of the code of life which Allah has revealed for the guidance of the people.’’
Ayade tasks Moslems on sacrifice, tolerance
Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, urged Muslims in Nigeria, particularly those living in the state to put aside differences and push for the unity of the country.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Christian Ita, Ayade enjoined them to imbibe attitude that portrays tolerance, sacrifice and togetherness as they mark the celebration of this year’s Eid-El-Kabir.
Oyetola calls for prayer against COVID-19
In tandem, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State in a goodwill message by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, urged Muslim faithful to look beyond the merriment and seize the day to intensify prayers for the world as it continues to battle with the coronavirus pandemic.
Sule tasks Nigerians on tolerance
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, on his part, tasked Nigerians on tolerance, irrespective of tribe, religion, region or creed. He has also urged the people to be security-conscious, stop senseless killings by accommodating one another in spite of any provocation.
Governor Sule urged Muslims to re-affirm their obedience to Allah’s injunctions as contained in the noble Qur’an and follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
Observe Eid prayer at home, Abiodun tells Ogun Muslims
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abidoun, while saluting Muslims, said that there would not be any form of “Eid” prayer or any form of public gathering in respect of the Eid-el Kabir in the State this year.
The governor noted that the ravaging COVID-19 has made the cancellation inevitable.
His words: “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 in Eid-el-Fitri at the conclusion of Ramadan Fast, two months ago.
“We are guided by the counsel of the Ulammah, and especially, in line with the resolution of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA),” he said.
Fayemi tasks Muslims on sacrifices for national devt
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, while felicitating with Muslims urged the Muslim Ummah and Nigerians generally to imbibe the lessons of dedication and obedience to higher authority as demonstrated in Prophet Ibrahim’s preparedness to sacrifice his son in obedience to the instructions of Allah.
Oyo opens praying grounds, says social distancing compulsory
The Oyo State Government, on Thursday, said Muslim praying grounds across the state will be opened for the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir prayers, warning, however, that Muslim faithful must ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols in the state.
According to the government, it has become imperative for the sake of public health and well-being of all worshipers that the Eid prayers are conducted in strict compliance with the guidelines on prevention of COVID-19.
Glo calls for love, unity
National telecommunication company, Globacom, congratulated the Nigerian Muslim faithful, urging them to celebrate with love and abide by the teachings of the Holy Quoran.
The company, in a press statement in Lagos, urged the Muslim Ummah to take advantage of the celebration and pray for peace and unity of the country as well as the end of COVID-19, the global pandemic.
“We rejoice with the Muslim Ummah as they celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir festival. We call on them to use the occasion to continue to live up to the tenets of their faith through acts of charity, peaceful co-existence with their neighbours and obedience to the injunctions of the Holy Quoran,” the statement said.