Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Ndubuisi Orji (Abuja), Priscilla Ediare (Ado-Ekiti), Gyang Bere (Jos), John Adams (Minna), Sola Ojo (Kaduna), Gyang Bere (Jos),
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged Muslims to keep their spirits up in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said has dampened celebration of the end of the Ramadan fasting period.
The President who gave the charge in his Sallah message to Muslims on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr, also assured Nigerians that the lockdown measures currently in place to check the spread of the coronavirus, would not go on longer than necessary, noting that they would be reviewed from time to time to ease the increasing hardships on the people.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said: “For the first time in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the people’s spiritual, social and economic lives. This year’s fasting period was particularly challenging for Muslims because they had to forgo many important aspects of their daily worship, including the routine congregations for prayer and the recitation and interpretation of the Holy Qur’an as well as traveling for the lesser pilgrimage to Makkah.
“It is not easy to give up many of these important duties and activities, but it became imperative to do so in order to control or limit the spread of this deadly disease.”
He commended both Muslims and Christians for their cooperation in the enforcement of the social distancing guidelines, noting that he was aware of the inconveniences the tough measures had brought on the lives of Nigerians, including limiting religious activities and gatherings in large numbers.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has urged Muslims to continue to pray for the country for God’s intervention against all the challenges that confront the nation even as he assured that the National Assembly would continue to provide appropriate legislative support towards proper and responsible governance of the country.
In a message to mark the Eid-el-Fitr, Lawan specially commended healthcare professionals and other essential services providers who have been on the front line of the fight against COVID-19 and assured them of full support the legislature.
Describing the 2020 Ramadan as one like no other, former Vice President and the Wazirin Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar, said that the Eid-il-fitr celebrations marking the end of the fasting should be equally be considered epochal as it was observed without the mandatory congressional prayers.
He, however, noted that the stricture and other measures necessitated by the need to curb the spread of the coronavirus could not have made the fasting less valid.
“The current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic is a test from Allah and, having fasted as we are enjoined as Muslims, let us continue to remember that it is part of our faith to protect all lives and to abide by regulations from those in authority, especially during a time of great uncertainty like this,” the former vice-president said.
Similarly, the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and in the 2015 general election and former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, in his Sallah message admonished Muslims in the country to pray for God to re-engineer the country and position it for true greatness.”
“Let us use this solemn time to ask God to end the endless blood-letting in our land and help re-direct our leadership at all levels so they can put the country first in all they do,” the former governor said.
Ekiti State governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, while felicitating with Muslims, admonished them put the teachings of the Ramadan to good use in all undertakings and urged Muslims and adherents of other religions to live in love, peace and harmony with one another as brothers and sisters even as he urged Muslim faithful to celebrate with modesty in view of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic which has disrupted socio- economic and religious activities globally.
Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi enjoined Muslims and all Nigerians, to remain resolute in their abiding faith in God, through prayers and sacrifice, as the nation battles COVID-19, stressing that the nation’s collective efforts to win the war against pandemic as well as lead to sustenance of the peace, unity and progress of the country.
Plateau State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Simon Bako Lalong, who has rejoiced with Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr marked under unusual conditions occasioned by COVID-19, noted that the challenges posed by the pandemic would remain with country for a long time and urged the people to adopt lifestyles that are commensurate with the teachings of the major faiths as both the governments and citizenry work together to assist one another to build a better society.
In the same vein, North Central Governor’s Forum (NCGF) has congratulated Muslim Ummah on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast, urging Muslims in the country to use lesson of the Ramadan to foster unity among Nigerians.
The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, expressed optimism that the current challenges being experienced following the outbreak of Coronavirus would soon become history.
He called on all traditional and religious leaders in the entire North Central region, especially those states that are under security threat of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and other forms of criminality to be security conscious and report any strange or suspicious movement within their domain
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged the Muslim faithful in the state to continue on the path of spirituality and peaceful co-existence even as they advised that they celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr moderately.
“Such values as the reaffirmation of your duty to serve one another, helping the poor and the vulnerable in the society, offering gratitude, showing compassion and generosity among other good deeds that guide your faith,” the governor said in a Sallah message.
Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has reiterated the need for all Muslims attending prayer grounds across the state to obey all the COVID-19 protocols as outlined by health experts.
The governor, Friday, reminded them to observe social distancing, wear face masks and wash their hands with soap around the designed places for the Eid-el-Fitr prayer.
He disclosed in a statement that he was sending his commissioners, advisers, special assistants, heads of government agencies to different locations where Eid prayer would be held across all the 44 local governments to ensure compliance with the protocols.
Governor, State of Osun, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, has congratulated Muslims in the state and across the world on the successful completion of the 1441 AH Ramadan fast and the celebration of Eid-el-fitri festival.
Oyetola in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, prayed Almighty Allah to accept all the acts of worship and supplication of the Muslim faithful during the just-concluded holy month.
The governor said though Ramadan has ended, Muslims must continue to reflect on and sustain the lessons and virtues of the month and replicate the same in their daily lives, particularly in their conducts and dealings with others.