By Stanley Onyekwere
As Muslims in Abuja today join their counterparts across the world to mark Eid el-Fitr celebrations, they are enjoined to hold Eid prayers outdoors within the premises of their neighborhood Juma’at mosques.
Consequently, there will be no Eid prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Expressway (Airport Road).
Also, all other Eid celebrations and activities should be confined to homes as all public parks, recreation and entertainment centers are to be closed; and religious authorities are advised to regulate the flow of people entering and exiting places of worship with only 50% of installed capacity.
The directive was part of the guidelines issued at the end of a meeting of the FCTA and delegation from the FCT League of Imams Initiative led by its Chairman, Imam (Dr) Tajudeen M.B Adigun, which was chaired by FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, on Monday.
Bello, in his remarks, thanked the religious leaders for their cooperation in the course of the battle against COVID-19 in the FCT.
He noted that having gone through a first wave of the pandemic and a second wave that caused more fatalities and had increased number of positives, it was imperative to prevent a possible third wave as is being witnessed in some countries across the world.
The Minister explained that the guidelines were issued based on presentations made by officials of the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA and the Implementation Guidelines for Phased Restriction of Movement issued by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.
He added that part of the guidelines is that all non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols of facial cover; eligiousings, physical distancing and hand washing are to be observed.
On his part, Chairman of the FCT League of Imams Initiative, Dr Tajudeen Mohammed Bello Adigun, said “In Islam, you listen to experts, those who are specialists and those who have actually discussed with us are experts in the field of medical sciences. In Islam, you also abide with the commands of leadership”.
“Based on this and what we are convinced of, we urge Muslim Ummah to also respect this stand of the Administration of the FCT by observing our Eid prayers within our localities”.