President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday announced the cancelation of Sallah homage to him by religious, community, party and government officials as the nation celebrates this year Eid-el-Kabir this weekend. The decision was taken as a measure to stop the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus global pandemic as directed by the protocols released by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the control of the disease chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha. According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, the President, who said he was obeying the directives of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), also advised other Muslims to shun mass gatherings and adhere strictly to other specified protocols.
The statement reads in part; “President Muhammadu Buhari will observe the Eid-el-Kabir prayers with his family at home, just as he did during the Eid-el- Fitr a little over two months ago, in line with advisories from the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
“In wishing all Muslims a safe and happy Eid, the President reiterated the protocols as issued by the PTF that large gatherings, as much as possible, should be discouraged. “Where small groups choose to hold the Eid together, face masks are absolutely necessary, as is social distancing. Advisedly, such prayers should hold outdoors and worshippers are encouraged to bring their own prayer mats.” In order to stop the spread of the disease, the President would not be receiving Sallah homages by religious, community, party and government leaders and urged all citizens to observe the occasion as advised by state and local authorities.”