As the nation prepares for the end of the fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan of this year, there are confusing directives from the Nation’s Authorities on the performance of Eid-Prayers at Eid-Praying Grounds across the Country.
While the Federal Government has extended the partial lockdown across the Federation to prevent further spread of COVID-19, some States in the North notably, Nassarawa, Gombe, Borno, Bauchi, Katsina and Kano States have lifted the ban for worship at Eid Praying Grounds with religious activities allowed for Christians too in their worship Centres. In the South, however, Rivers, Ebonyi, Imo States lifted the ban for burying their dead that have been kept in Morgues for months.
As this conflicting orders continue, majority of States are queuing behind the Presidential Order that extended the lockdown for additional 2 weeks. All these States are highly commended.
While commending the Federal and State Governments on their efforts aimed at protecting the lives of the people and at the same time protecting their spiritual, medical and economic interest, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) believes that everybody must key-in into the Federal Government measures as dictated by the PTF ON COVID-19 headed by the SGF – Mr. Boss Mustapha because of its medical values so as to whether the storm of the pandemic.
The relaxation done by some State Governors was unnecessary if we are to rid the Nation of the pandemic in no distance time. Learning from how other Nations including China were able to surmount the problem of coronavirus, the greatest success came through the lockdown, cancellation of flights, intensive media campaign of medical prevention and solutions.
The conditions that could reduce the spread of the virus such as social distancing, use of face-mask, non-hand shaking and hugging are all difficult to abide with in religious gatherings in this Country.
We, therefore, call on all Muslims in the country to abide by the order of the Sultan of Sokoto & President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Sultan Muhammad Saad Abubakar by observing their Eid worship at home to save the lives of our people. Medical experts continue to warn on the dangers of this virus – hence we sacrificed our 5 daily prayers by praying at home including the Taraweeh throughout this month to be safe. What are we to gain if we troop to the Praying Grounds in Federation on Sallah Day and later get the virus to spread? The gains made in the last two months of sacrifice would have been rubbished.
The MMWG opined that if we all cooperate, the calamity predicted in Africa since 2015 over this pandemic will be prevented. This could only be done if we obey the medical advisory and prophetic guidance of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). After all, we shall benefit from the sacrifice we make to the pleasure of All.
It must be noted that we are gradually ‘winning the war’ with more positive cases being recorded but less death recorded. We can only sustain this if we conform with medical rules. But if we hurriedly unlock the lockdown, only Allah could prevent calamity of widespread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Despite the horrible news with video reports of America, Britain, France and other European Countries burying hundreds of deads in a day, we are still pressurising for the opening of Mosques and Churches where the virus could easily spread.
It is important for us thank Almighty Allah, that with nearly half a million deaths recorded worldwide, only about 200 persons have died of Nigeria so far. Our spiritual cum medical approach must have been responsible for this. Even though other people died of mysterious deaths in Yobe and Kano States, COVID-19 prevention which made Hospital care inaccessible must have been responsible. While wishing us all happy Eid-il-Fitr Celebration, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria urges State Governments to enforce the lock-down order where ban has not been lifted, while the States that allowed religious gathering must monitor the conformity with the FG restrictions and observance of COVID-19 curtailment rules.