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Published On: Fri, Jul 31st, 2020

Eid-El-Kabir celebration: IGP urges citizens to obey ban on Socio-Religious Gatherings

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  • Buhari promises more relief to cushion lockdown hardship
  • Gbajabiamila calls for sober reflection

By Tobias Lengnam and Christiana Ekpa, Abuja

As part of efforts to ensure a crime-free Eid-el Kabir celebration in the country, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, has directed the Commissioners of Police in all the States of the Federation and the FCT as well as their supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police in the seventeen (17) Zonal Commands to intensify confidence building patrols in all nooks and crannies of the country particularly on major highways and around critical national infrastructure.
This is according to a statement yesterday by The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP frank Mba.
The IGP, while assuring Nigerians of adequate security, congratulates the Muslim Faithful in the country as they join other Muslims across the world to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival.
The IGP also calls for voluntary compliance with the ban on all mass socio-religious gathering and other prevention orders directed at protecting the citizens and checking further spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country. He enjoins the citizens to cooperate with the Police, noting that the measures have become imperative due to the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila also yesterday urged Muslims to rededicate themselves to their Creator and pray for the country during this period of Eid-el-Kabir.
Gbajabiamila said the need for prayers became more pressing at this time that the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the world, including Nigeria.
The Speaker said with fervent prayers, Nigeria would be able to surmount the numerous challenges bedeviling the country, including insecurity.
In a Sallah message by his spokesman Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker also urged Nigerians, irrespective of their differences, to embrace one another and be united for the progress of the country.
He called on religious leaders to preach unity and peaceful coexistence among the citizens at this time and always.
He further urged Muslims to imbibe the virtues of selflessness, generosity, brotherliness and accommodating nature of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Gbajabiamila used the opportunity to call on leaders to keep their contracts with the Nigerian people, as that is the only way they can make meaningful impact in the lives of the citizens.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the sacrifices of Muslims and Christians in abiding by the COVID-19 guidelines for the good of society.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that Buhari gave the commendation in his Sallah message to Muslims on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Buhari assured Nigerians that, “On our own part, we shall continue to provide economic reliefs to the people to minimize the unintended hardships these guidelines have inflicted.’’
The president reminded worshippers that COVID-19 is worldwide affliction with Churches and Mosques closed and social distancing imposed to safeguard public health.
He, therefore, reiterated his call on Nigerians to continue to exercise patience and understanding over the inconveniences created by the precautionary measures taken, especially the regulations on places of worship.
He said the outbreak of coronavirus had made it ”difficult for people to gather in places of worship as they are used to”, urging worshipers to follow the guidelines for the safety of their lives and loved ones.
“The coronavirus has had devastating adverse impacts on our social, economic and spiritual lives.
“The preventive guidelines we have introduced to contain the spread of this deadly disease have unfortunately limited people’s freedom to gather and worship in large numbers in Mosques and Churches.
“Every measure that has been introduced to contain this disease may have its unintended consequences on the daily lives of our people, and I, therefore, call on Muslims and other faiths to continue to show more understanding with the government as we take correct steps to protect our people through the social distancing.
“No elected government would intentionally take away its people’s religious freedom by limiting the number of people that will gather in worship centres at the same time.
“These guidelines are dictated by necessity in order to safeguard public health and should therefore not be perceived as infringement on people’s right to worship,’’ he said.
While wishing Muslims a happy celebration, the President called on worshipers not to forget the symbolic significance of the sacrifices of the Eid-el-Kabir.
“Muslims should imbibe the noble virtues of our great prophets in order to establish closer connectivity between religious teachings and practice.
“We can create the greatest impact by putting into practice the noble teachings of our religion. In whatever we do in life, we must put the fear of God in our daily activities in order to make our society better.’’
The president reminded the people of his efforts to root out corruption in the country, stating that the efforts had so far brought a lot of changes in country.
He, therefore, appealed for support and understanding as ”investigations are carried out into both legacy cases and fresh cases”.

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