• Buhari to observe prayers at home, cancels homage
  • Police bar gatherings at Sokoto Eid grounds

All COVID-19 prevention orders including inter-state movement restriction, curfew and  prohibition of mass socio-religious gatherings put in place by the federal government in Lagos, Ogun, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as the restriction orders in some states are still in force during the Eid el-Fitr, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said yesterday.

In a statement signed by the force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, the IGP enjoined citizens to observe the Eid celebrations bearing in mind the unusual times occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, hence the police would leave no stone unturned in the enforcement of the orders.

He assured the nation of adequate security during and after the Eid el-Fitr, noting that proactive and robust anti-crime measures, including the deployment of tactical and intelligence assets of the force, are already in place to prevent any untoward incident in the country.

In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari will conduct his Eid prayers with his family at home.

Presidential aide, Garba Shehu, said in a statement yesterday that the action was in observance of the lockdown measures in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) put in place “to save lives and protect people from all dangers.”

He said the action was also in line with the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III suspending Eid congregational prayers across the country as well as the protocol against mass gatherings issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

He said President Buhari who had traditionally shared the joyous moment with top government officials, political leaders, community heads, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and children, would not be receiving homage in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Sokoto State, Ibrahim Sani  Kaoje, yesterday said gatherings would not be accepted at the praying grounds.

In a statement signed by the police spokesman in the state, ASP Muhammad Abubakar, he also advised Islamic clerics to shun inciting and seditious preaching.

“Mosques are neither campaign nor partying venues, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, hence, political statements, slogans and gatherings will not be accepted at the praying grounds,” he said.

He assured members of the public of the preparedness of the police to provide adequate security for lives and property before, during and after the Eid el-Fitri.

“Policemen derived from all departments have been deployed in Sokoto metropolitan area, while adequate provision has also been made to secure other parts of the state.

“Criminals are advised to avoid Sokoto State completely as the command has deployed full combat-ready police officers to operate within the ambits of the law to keep the state free of crime,” he said.

He urged the public to comply with all safety advisories aimed at containment of Covid-19  and report any suspicious movement in their areas to the police.

The Sokoto State Taskforce Committee on COVID-19 also yesterday cautioned Muslims on visitations during the celebrations.

“This is not the best time to embark on festive visitations, rather, we encourage you to make use of social media or any other means of communication to extend best wishes to fellow Muslim Ummah and loved ones,” the committee chairman, Dr Ali Inname, said. “But where the visitation becomes necessary, social distancing, use of face masks and constant use of sanitizers at intervals should be applicable,” he added.

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