President Muhammadu Buhari; Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Sa’ad III, have called on Muslims to keep observing social distancing in order not to aid the spread of COVID-19 as Ramadan begins today.
The president, in a message yesterday sent his wishes to Muslims both in the country and all over the world as they begin the 30-day fast, after sighting the moon.
I congratulate all Muslims as they commence this year’s Ramadan fast, which is depicted by self-denial, universal brotherhood, austerity and helping relatives and needy people.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said, in a statement, that President Buhari described this year’s Ramadan as a challenge as it is coming during the global health crisis.
He cautioned against mass gatherings during the Ramadan, saying that doing so would further contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
In this Ramadan period, the kind of socialising you are used to now risks spreading the Coronavirus,” the president said.
On his part, the President of Senate, Lawan, appealed to Muslims and Nigerians to comply with the COVID-19 protocols of social distancing.
He told Muslims that the observance of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and it is a special period for seeking the face of Allah through fasting and prayers.
As we enter the holy month, I urge the Muslim community and Nigerians in general to maintain full compliance with the directives given us by the relevant government and religious authorities in the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, who declared today as the First Ramadan 4041AH signifying the commencement of the annual fast, said the moon had been sighted in some parts of the country, while also urging Muslims to abide by measures put in place by medical experts to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
He urged all Muslims to intensify prayers against the COVID-19 for Allah’s intervention, stressing that they should live in peace with one another, irrespective of religious or ethnic backgrounds.
Elsewhere, King Salman of Saudi Arabia expressed sadness that Muslims cannot pray at mosques because of coronavirus restrictions.
I am pained that the holy month arrives amid circumstances that make us unable to perform group prayers and Taraweeh- special Ramadan night prayers, at mosques due to precautionary measures to protect the peoples’ lives and health in combating the coronavirus pandemic.