President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Muslims to keep their spirits up in spite of the COVID-19.
The President gave the encouragement in a Sallah message on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr on Saturday.
According to him, the pandemic caught the world off guard and has dampened what would otherwise have been a time of celebration for the Muslim faithful who are marking the end of the Ramadan fasting period.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the people’s spiritual, social and economic lives,” he said, adding that “this year’s fasting period was particularly challenging for Muslims because they had to forgo many important aspects of their daily worship, including the routine congregations for prayer and the recitation and interpretation of the Holy Qur’an as well as travelling for the lesser pilgrimage to Makkah.”
President Buhari, however, noted that while it was not easy to give up many of those important duties and activities, it became imperative to do so in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend the sacrifices of both Muslims and Christians for their cooperation in the enforcement of the social distancing guidelines. I am well aware of the inconveniences these tough measures have brought on the lives of Nigerians, including limiting religious activities and gatherings in large numbers,” the President noted, adding that “no government would intentionally impose these tough and demanding measures on its citizens if it had a choice.”
Speaking further, he noted that “this year’s Eid event is an occasion for sober reflection rather than celebration.”
He also appealed to other Nigerians “whose businesses and means of livelihoods were badly affected by the prolonged lockdown measures for their understanding and cooperation.”
He assured them that the lockdown measures would not go on longer than necessary because they would be reviewed from time to time to ease the increasing hardships on the people.
Meanwhile, the president urged those who have the means to continue helping their neighbours and the less well-to-do “so that we can all come out of this pandemic stronger and more united.”
He prayed that Allah eases the hardship among the people as the country struggles to flatten the curve while wishing all Nigerians “Eid Mubarak.”