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MURIC wants government to extend palliatives to clericsFeatures — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on state governments to consider giving special palliatives to Imams and Pastors in order to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director, MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a statement noted that such relief packages would stem the tide of agitations for early reopening of churches and mosques for normal worship sessions.He said: “Like many countries of the world, Nigeria has been under government-imposed lockdown for nearly two months. The citizenry is restless. People are hungry.

“The open demand by certain religious leaders for their places of worship to be reopened lends credence to the pressure clerics are going through.

“Even the recent decision by some state governments to reopen religious centres is not unconnected with subterranean agitations from clerics in the states. Deserted for weeks, the houses of God long for warmth.

“The Friday and Sunday assemblies provide regular and veritable sources of moral, spiritual and material supply.
“The occasional gatherings for marriage, naming and house-warming ceremonies come with sumptuous gifts in cash and material.
“But the ban on assemblies of more than 20 has put an effective stop on these occasions.
“Worse still, the cheerful givers now go about with frowns on their faces courtesy of the general economic downturn.
“The tap from which Naira flows into the house of God is dry.
“The impact of the economic nosedive on Imams and pastors cannot be overemphasized particularly for a country whose proletariat is overworked, underpaid and overtaxed,” he said.

Akintola had earlier urged Muslims to exercise patience and joined hands with the rest of humanity to defeat Covid-19.” Those who die can never be seen again. Neither can they be part of a safer and better.No single community, group or country can fight the battle alone.

“Reopening mosques at this time can be interpreted as withdrawing from the battlefield and leaving the rest of the country to face the fight alone. It may also be interpreted as disobedience to FG’s restriction on crowding,” he said.

MURIC urged the governments and people of Borno, Gombe and Zamfara states whose population is predominantly Muslim to consider Allah-given fundamental right to life. “This right should not be violated through any hasty yet wrongful policy decision,” he said.

He noted that the pattern of congregating in mosques may even be more prone to infections than some other places. Unlike others who assemble for worship once in a week or once in a year. “Muslims congregate five times daily for the five daily prayers, once weekly for jumu’ah prayer and twice annually for the festivals. It is noteworthy that the last three draw mammoth crowds.

“It is therefore our considered opinion that the authorities in the three states (Borno, Gombe and Zamfara) should reconsider their decisions particularly before the Id al-fitr festival prayer which is fast approaching. We remind the three states that the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had advised Muslims against congregations until further notice. We therefore suggest that the leadership of the Nigerian Muslim community, namely, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the NSCIA should be consulted before the decision to reopen mosques can be implemented.”

Meanwhile, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), called on state governments to consider giving special palliatives to Imams and Pastors in order to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director, MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a statement noted that such relief packages would stem the tide of agitations for early reopening of churches and mosques for normal worship sessions.

He said: “Like many countries of the world, Nigeria has been under government-imposed lockdown for nearly two months. The citizenry is restless. People are hungry.

“The open demand by certain religious leaders for their places of worship to be reopened lends credence to the pressure clerics are going through.

“Even the recent decision by some state governments to reopen religious centres is not unconnected with subterranean agitations from clerics in the states. Deserted for weeks, the houses of God long for warmth.
“The Friday and Sunday assemblies provide regular and veritable sources of moral, spiritual and material supply.
“The occasional gatherings for marriage, naming and house-warming ceremonies come with sumptuous gifts in cash and material.
“But the ban on assemblies of more than 20 has put an effective stop on these occasions.
“Worse still, the cheerful givers now go about with frowns on their faces courtesy of the general economic downturn.
“The tap from which Naira flows into the house of God is dry.
“The impact of the economic nosedive on Imams and pastors cannot be overemphasized particularly for a country whose proletariat is overworked, underpaid and overtaxed,” he said.





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