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COVID-19: Buhari to observe Eid-el-Fitr prayers at home, cancels homages

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said he will observe the Muslims’ Eid-el-Fitri prayers with his family members in line with protocol against mass gathering issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

A statement by Presidential Spokesman Garba Shehu, said with the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations around the corner and the month-long Ramadan fast coming to an end, President Muhammadu Buhari will be conducting his Eid prayers with his family at home.

This is also coming on the heels of recent calls by the Federal government to state Governors against hasty relaxation of lockdown rules on COVID-19 management, especially in the wake of rising cases of those testing positive to the virus, in Nigeria, ahead of the Sallah celebrations.

The government through the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus response, PTF COVID-19,

had expressed dismay over decisions by some state Governors to reopen worship places, markets, businesses and even schools, ahead of the Sallah celebrations

The President, in the statement by Garba Shehu, said this is in “observance of the lockdown measures in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, put in place “to save lives and protect people from all dangers.”

This is also in line with the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Sa’ad Abubakar III suspending Eid congregational prayers across the country as well as the protocol against mass gathering issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

President Buhari, who had traditionally shared the joyous moments with top government officials, political leaders, community heads, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and children, will not be receiving these homages in a bid to stop the coronavirus from further spreading.

The President therefore asked everyone to do same as Nigeria battles the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus response, PTF COVID-19, PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, while speaking at the daily briefing in Abuja, on Thursday, said the PTF offered similar advise to the Governors against such hasty decisions to relax the rules, at the National Economic Council NEC meeting, Thursday.

He stated that such decisions “could inadvertently endanger the elderly, the sick and those with underlying factors during such gatherings.

“The strong advisory from the PTF is that large gatherings beyond twenty persons remains prohibited and should be adhered to. Mustapha, while drawing attention to the global reports, said ” Wednesday, May 20th 2020, served as a stark reminder to the entire world about the severity of the COVID-19 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) reminded the world that we still have a long way to go in fighting this pandemic. According to him, “Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director General, said 106,000 cases were recorded globally in twenty-four hours, representing the highest single day number since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“This is significant because it brings to realization, the relentless assault, of the virus on humanity” Mustapha said.

He noted that it is of “utmost importance to remind our sub-national entities on the need to diligently implement the guidelines and to exercise caution in relaxing restrictions in a manner that is capable of setting back the gains already made.

“The foregoing admonition becomes critical as we prepare for celebrations at the end of the month of Ramadan. It is the prayer of the PTF that we shall all celebrate this Sallah and many more in good health and beseech the Almighty to accept our supplication and look upon our Nation and the World, with mercy”

Mustapha while also using the opportunity to wish all Muslims a very happy and safe Eid celebrations, cautioned on the need to wear a mask, keep physical distances, avoid large congregations, avoid unnecessary inter-state travels and observe personal hygiene amongst other suggested safety measures.

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