Naija News reports that the President who made the appeal on Thursday said he was aware that the measures introduced to contain the spread of COVID-19 had caused serious inconvenience to Muslims and the adherents of other faiths.
Making the appeal in his Eid-el-Kabir message released by the Presidency in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, said the guidelines were put in place to save lives, adding that a major inconvenience was the fact that people would be unable to congregate in worship centres for prayers as used to be the practice.
His words: “The coronavirus has had devastating adverse impacts on our social, economic and spiritual lives.
“The preventive guidelines we have introduced to contain the spread of this deadly disease have unfortunately limited people’s freedom to gather and worship in large numbers in mosques and churches.
“Every measure that has been introduced to contain this disease may have its unintended consequences on the daily lives of our people, and I, therefore, call on Muslims and other faithful to continue to show more understanding with the government as we take correct steps to protect our people through the social distancing.
“No elected government would intentionally take away its people’s religious freedom by limiting the number of people that will gather in worship centres at the same time.
“The guidelines are dictated by necessity in order to safeguard public health and should, therefore, not be perceived as infringement on people’s right to worship.’’
While praising Muslims and Christians for their patience in the past months of combating the virus, the President pledged that government would continue to do its beat by providing “economic reliefs to the people to minimise the unintended hardships these guidelines have inflicted.’’
President Buhari, who wished Muslims in particular, a happy celebration, advised them not to forget the symbolic significance of the sacrifices of the Eidel Kabir.
“Muslims should imbibe the noble virtues of our great prophets in order to establish closer connectivity between religious teachings and practice.
“We can create the greatest impact by putting into practice the noble teachings of our religion. In whatever we do in life, we must put the fear of God in our daily activities in order to make our society better”, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted him.
The President seized the opportunity to remind Nigerians that the anti-corruption crusade of his administration was on, adding that it was yielding dividends. He sought their support to sustain the ongoing investigation and persecution of corruption cases.