By Mohammed Momoh
Abuja, May 23, 2020
Nigerian leaders have congratulated Muslims for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast and the solemn celebration of Eid-el-Fitr on Sunday.
Eid-el-Fitr which marks the breaking of fast and the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, would be celebrated for the first time in history congregational prayers in designated community mosques.
In his Eid-el-Fitr message, President Muhammadu Buhari, noted that Muslims would have to pray in their homes on May 24, 2020 to observe social distancing to contain COVID-19 and urged them to keep their spirits up in spite of the pandemic.
Eid-el-Fitr which comes up on Sunday marks the breaking of fast and the end of the Holy month of Ramadan.
Buhari said the deadly virus, which caught the world off guard, has put a damper on what would otherwise have been a celebration for the Muslims to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting.
“For the first time in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the people’s spiritual, social and economic lives.
”This year’s fasting period was particularly challenging for Muslims because they had to forgo many important aspects of their daily worship, including the routine congregations for prayer and the recitation and interpretation of the Holy Qur’an as well as traveling for the lesser pilgrimage to Makkah.
“It is not easy to give up many of these important duties and activities, but it became imperative to do so in order to control or limit the spread of this deadly disease.”
He commended the sacrifices of both Muslims and Christians for their cooperation in the enforcement of the social distancing guidelines.
President of the Senate, Mr Ahmad Lawan, also felicitated with the Muslim and urged them to observe health precautions and sustain purity among others on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr.
Lawan said on Saturday in Abuja that: “ We should also continue to pray for Nigeria, our dear country, for God’s intervention against the challenges that confront the nation and the world.’’
He assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would continue to provide the initiatives and responses expected of responsible Legislature.
Also Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, admonished Muslims to put the teachings of the holy month to good use in all their undertakings.
He urged them to live together in love, peace and harmony, as brothers and sisters with people of other faith and noted that Ramadan was a season of discipline and sacrifice.
The defeated Vice Presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi, has urged Muslims to pray for Nigeria to attain true greatness.
The candidate in the 2019 General Elections, said that Nigerians needed to intensify their prayers for the nation’s progress and also enjoined Muslims to use the period to pray to Allah to forgive Nigerians their trespasses and help rescue the country.
“Let us use this solemn time to ask God to end the endless blood-letting in our land and help re-direct our leadership at all levels so they can put the country first in all they do,” he said.
The general Overseer of Christ Evangelical and life Intervention Ministry Sabon Tasha in Kaduna, Pastor Yohanna Buru, urged Muslims to remember to donate and share their foods and other eatable items and drinks to widows, prison inmates, destitute, IDPs kids/ orphans and the poor masses that were currently in lockdown due to novel coronavirus pandemic.
Buru, called on wealthy individuals, politicians, government and Islamic organizations and council of Ulamas, to assist the poor Muslims with food items and other eatables.
The cleric said that despite the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Ramadan season has recorded huge success in view of the encouraging participation by various Christian organizations during Iftar period.
Opposition PDP urged Nigerians, particularly leaders, not to lose sight of the essence of the Eid-el Fitr and the eternal lessons of Ramadan.
The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on May 23, 2020, urged Nigerians to bring the lessons to bear by living in truth, selflessness, tolerance, forbearance, honesty and transparency in all their dealings.
“The PDP stressed that leaders must, therefore, bear in mind that the positions they occupy were bestowed by the Almighty Allah for the good of the people, and that they will surely give account of their actions, particularly towards the down-trodden, the oppressed and the voiceless.
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