By Omeiza Ajayi, ABUJA
In the wake of the renewed onslaught against the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal Capital Territory FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has banned congregational prayers at the National Eid ground in Abuja, restricting all Eid-il-Fitr prayers to neighbourhood Juma’at Mosques.
The decision was taken at a meeting between the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA and a delegation from the FCT League of Imams Initiative led by its Chairman, Imam (Dr) Tajudeen M.B Adigun to discuss the modalities of holding prayers for the Eid-il-Fitr celebrations.
Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Anthony Ogunleye in a statement on Tuesday said Malam Bello thanked the religious leaders for their cooperation in the course of the battle against COVID-19 in the FCT and said having gone through a first wave of the pandemic and a second wave that caused more fatalities and had increased number of positives, it was imperative to prevent a possible third wave as is being witnessed in some countries across the world.
“Consequently, based on presentations made by officials of the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA and the Implementation Guidelines for Phased Restriction of Movement issued by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 on Monday, 10th May 2021, the following guidelines are hereby issued:
“There will be no Eid prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Expressway (Airport Road).
“All worshippers are enjoined to hold Eid prayers outdoors within the premises of their neighbourhood Juma’at mosques.
“Indoor worship are to be limited to less than 50% of installed capacity.
“Religious authorities are advised to regulate the flow of people entering and exiting places of worship.
“All non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols of facial coverings, physical distancing and hand washing are to be observed
“All other Eid celebrations and activities should be confined to homes as all public parks, recreation and entertainment centres are to be closed”, he stated.
The statement added that at the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the FCT League of Imams Initiative, Dr Tajudeen Mohammed Bello Adigun, who spoke on behalf of the League, said; “In Islam, you listen to experts, those who are specialists and those who have actually discussed with us are experts in the field of medical sciences. In Islam, you also abide with the commands of leadership”.
Dr Adigun added that “based on this and what we are convinced of, we urge Muslim Ummah to also respect this stand of the Administration of the FCT by observing our Eid prayers within our localities”