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Eid el Fitr: Bauchi Muslims disregard COVID-19 safety rules at praying ground





Muslim faithful in Bauchi metropolis today trooped out in their numbers to observe the supererogatory Eid al Fitr prayers in various eid prayer grounds across the town to mark the end of 30-day Ramadan fast.

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The Eid prayers were held across Bauchi State following the lift of ban placed on religious gatherings by the state government.

The state governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed had on May 20 lifted the ban, noting that a lot has been achieved in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

While lifting the ban, the governor had urged the people to continue to adhere to measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, including maintaining social and physical distancing, use of facemasks, washing of hands with soap and running water.

DAILY POST, however, observed today in Bauchi, that there was no adherence to any of the safety rules as advised by the governor.

At the Fada Central Mosque, where Governor Mohammed, the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu and top government functionaries observed their Eid prayers, there was neither the use of facemasks nor any social distancing.

The faithful observed the two raka’at prayers in congregation, led by the Bauchi Chief Imam, Alhaji Mohammad Baba Inna, without any distance between them, while only a few people wore face masks.

The story was the same at the Games Village praying ground, where DAILY POST Correspondent observed the prayers.

While there was no water and soap at strategic places for faithful to wash their hands before entering the prayer ground, only a handful of people used facemasks.

The faithful were also seen praying head to head in the usual Muslim manner despite the COVID-19 scare.

The faithful mingled freely among themselves without any regard for physical distancing.

In his sermon after the prayers, Sheikh Malam Idris lamented the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic to the people.

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He, however, called on President Muhammad Buhari and the various state government across the country to open worship centres, markets and schools to allow people go back to their normal life.

Meanwhile, in his goodwill message to the people of the state on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el Fitr, the Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, enjoined Muslim faithful in the state to emulate the virtues of Prophet Muhammad by making sacrifices for the benefit of the less privileged members of the society.

The governor urged Muslims in the state to use the occasion of the Eid celebration to reflect on their past with a view to taking corrective measures towards improving their relationship with their creator.

While noting that Eid-al Fitri celebration marks the end of the mandatory Ramadan fast in which the faithful abstained from eating, drinking and the pleasures of the flesh during the day, the governor urged Muslims to learn and imbibe the lessons of Ramadan.

“Fasting strengthens our faith in the Almighty Allah and purifies our souls and guides our utterances and conduct. Muslims believe that Ramadan teaches self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and empathy with those who are the less privileged thus encouraging actions of generosity and clarity.

“It is my hope that we will continue to be responsible in both our utterances and conduct even after the Ramadan period.

“As believers, we should be guided by the teachings of Ramadan in our day to day dealings with our brothers and sisters and extend hands of fellowship to adherents of other faiths.

Governor Mohammed also called on the Muslims faithful to consider the occasion a period to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, love, generosity and respect for one another.

The Bauchi State helmsman said the state government on its part is committed to maintaining peaceful and harmonious coexistence among the various interest groups in the state.

He then appealed to the people of the state to be tolerant and accommodate their different ethnic, religious and political affiliations.

“I would like to appeal to all and sundry to join hands with the government towards our resolve to establish a peaceful, prosperous and united Bauchi State,” the governor stated.

On COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, the governor observed that the current economic downturn and its attendant consequences arising from the virus will no doubt have an adverse effect on how the majority of the people celebrate the Eid-El Fitr.

The governor urged the people to see the current situation as a temporary setback, praying that it will soon be over.

He informed that the state government eased the lockdown in the state following the achievements recorded so far in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

“I want you to see this as a temporary setback that affects the whole world and will be over in no distant future by the grace of Almighty Allah.

“Government has eased the lockdown restrictions in consideration of the tremendous achievement recorded in preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state,” he stated.

He tasked the people not to relax in taking preventive measures such as maintaining social and physical distancing, constantly washing of hands with soap and running water, use of face masks, among others.

Governor Mohammed then assured that the state government is doing everything possible to alleviate the sufferings of the people, in addition to the measures taken to contain the spread of the disease.

According to the governor, “Government is not unaware of the discomfort our people are facing both economically and spiritually as a result of this pandemic. That is why I directed the early payment of May salary and pensions to enable workers and retirees to celebrate the Eid-al fitr joyfully.

“I assure you that the present administration will not fail in its responsibilities to see to the welfare of the people of the state.”

Governor Bala Mohammed used the opportunity to call on all motorists to
observe traffic regulations so as to reduce accidents on highways throughout the period of the celebration.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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