Muslims in Kano, Katsina, Borno, Zamfara and Bauchi states on Sunday shunned the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, against no-large gatherings at Eid prayers.
Media reports and words on the street confirmed that the people were tired of staying at home and the Eid celebration is the only succour of social relief they had been yearning for.
Moreover, Nigerians have proven to be much more sentimentally spiritual with several attempts of churches and mosques to defy lockdown and social distancing orders.
Kano, Katsina, Borno and Yobe had relaxed the Federal Government’s lockdown rule and allowed religious organisations to hold their congregational worships and permitted Muslims to hold prayers to mark the end of 30 days fasting.
Worshippers throng en mass to prayer grounds without observing the PTF’s social distancing or mask-wearing rules.
It was alleged that the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) contradicted state governments’ directives saying through its Deputy Secretary-General, Professor Salisu Shehu that massive gatherings at one Eid ground in a big city should be avoided.
Sheu was quoted as saying the Eid could be performed in area mosques to avoid unmanageable crowds.
Meanwhile, On Thursday, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) advised Muslims to observe the Sallah prayers at home but the advice seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
JIN Secretary General, Dr Khalid Abubakar said: “Eid-el-Fitr congregation on the outskirts of towns and cities should be temporarily suspended and that Eid-el-Fitr prayer be observed at home with family members or alone in case there isn’t anyone with him or her, at home.
The PTF on Thursday at a press briefing also advised against large gatherings of people during the Sallah celebration.