The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has announced that he will be observing Eid El-Kabir prayers at home with his family owing to the measures put in place to curb COVID-19 by the relevant agencies of government.
Garba Shehu the president’s spokesman made the disclosure in a statement he issued on behalf of the president on Thursday.
According to Shehu, “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,” he said.
“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 will not be receiving Sallah homages by religious, community, party and government leaders and urges all citizens to observe the occasion as advised by state and local authorities.”
In the past, religious festivals were opportunities for the president to host several dignitaries who usually troop to the presidential palace to wine and dine with the first family. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has however limited much of those celebrations and rituals.