Kwara cancels congregation for Eid prayers amid COVID-19 scare

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PIC. 10. A CROSS-SECTION OF MUSLIMS PRAYING AT THE OBALENDE PRAYING GROUND DURING EID-EL-KABIR CELEBRATION IN LAGOS ON TUESDAY (15/10/13).

• Violators to be charged to mobile courts

Following the rising cases of coronavirus in Kwara State, the government has ordered that congregation for Eid prayers be cancelled across the state, noting that the decision was painful but necessary to save lives.

The government made this decision after consulting with Muslim stakeholders in the state.

In a news briefing today in Ilorin, the state capital, Kayode Alabi, Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, rolled out new measures to be observed in containing the spread of the disease.

He said, “In the past few days, the Kwara State Government has held meetings with different stakeholders in the state on the way forward in our collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The engagements, which are a continuation of what we were always doing, were necessitated by the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state and of course the upcoming Ileya festival which is a special period for our people.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the last few days have seen an unprecedented jump in the number of our cases. Between 9th of July 2020 and yesterday July 23rd, we recorded 56% of our total confirmed cases! Increasing number of our patients now require intensive care to survive. This points to a grim situation that requires drastic measure.

He declared that, “Because of the huge numbers that are expected to gather for the special Eid prayers and the possibility of such gatherings leading to spike in our cases and potential deaths, the government, in consultation with the Council of Ulamah under His Royal Highness the Emir of Ilorin Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, hereby cancels congregational Eid prayers for 2020 across the whole state. This is a tough decision but it was made in the interest of all of us.”

Mr Alabi conveyed the good wishes of the government to people as they celebrate the Eid-al-Adha, while seeking total compliance with safety protocols.

“On behalf of His Excellency the Governor of Kwara State AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, we appreciate and commend all our frontline workers for their priceless commitment to save lives at this time of global health emergency.

“We are grateful to our religious, community, and labour leaders. We commend our security agencies for their wonderful job and we urge for more support. Thank you and God bless you,” he said.

He also warned that offenders would be charged to mobile courts where they would be levelled with appropriate sanctions.

Meanwhile, the briefing was attended by cabinet members; police commissioner, Kayode Egbetokun; state commandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp, Bello Ale; representatives of the Council of Ulamah, the Imam Imale of Ilorin, Sheikh Abdullah AbdulHameed and Justice Salihu Muhammed.

Others are the representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria (Kwara), Pastor Moses Popoola; leader of the state transport union, AbdulRazaq Ariwoola; representatives of the bankers’ committee led by Victor Inyang; and representatives of the market associations in the state.

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