From Raji Bello, Sokoto
As a measure to checkmate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, the Sokoto state government has warned against the assembling of people during public preaching and voluntary night vigil prayers in the Ramadan fasting period
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who gave the warning while receiving a situation report from the Task Force Committee on COVID-19 in the state, also announced a ban of all international border markets across the state.
The warning on public gathering for Tafsir and Tarawih prayers in the month of Ramadan was an adoption of the recommendation of the Sultanate Council on both.
According to Gov Tambuwal, this step was taken in order to regulate the convergence of people in one place, a situation that would only increase the risk of them getting infected by the COVID -19 disease.
Instead of the traditional public preaching the state government will now sponsor the online airing of the tafsir of the Ulamas on television and radio stations in the state.
On the ban of the markets, Gov. Tambuwal said it became necessary as the state task force on COVID-19 has submitted that their existence was contributing to the spread of disease.
Tambuwal also approved the extension of the existing partial lockdown by two weeks, insisting the enforcement of the ban on inter-state movement must not be compromised.
Seeking for more support from traditional and community leaders in the state in the enforcement of the banning of social gatherings, Tambuwal thanked the Sultanate Council, traditional rulers, security agents, and other stakeholders for their unflinching cooperation so far.
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaii Saad Abubakar lauded the state government for the myriad of measures being taken against the spread of the disease.
The Sultan informed the governor that as the leaders of the Muslim ummah, the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs has taken a decision of banning all the tafsir and tarawih in the Muslim ummah, in order to prevent the spread of the disease.
According to him, he held a meeting with all the Imams and Ulamas in the state where they unanimously consented to the decision.
The Sultan further thanked the people in the state for their understanding.
Earlier in his address, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Ali Inname said, Sokoto state has recorded a single confirmed case on 19th April, 2020.