President Muhammadu Buhari has charged well-to-do Nigerians to continue helping their neighbours and the less privileged for the country to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger.
He also urged Muslims in Nigeria to remain hopeful as they celebrate Eid-al-Fitr amid the ravaging pandemic.
In his Sallah message circulated by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President Media & Publicity, President Buhari noted that “for the first time in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the people’s spiritual, social and economic lives.”
He said, “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 traveling for the lesser pilgrimage to Makkah.”
“It is not easy to give up many of these important duties and activities, but it became imperative to do so in order to control or limit the spread of this deadly disease.”
President Buhari also commended Muslims and Christians for their cooperation in the enforcement of social distancing and lockdown order.
He said, “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. No government would intentionally impose these tough and demanding measures on its citizens if it had a choice.”
Appealing to other Nigerians whose means of livelihoods have been badly affected by the prolonged lockdown measures for their understanding and cooperation, President Buhari assured Nigerians that the measures would not be longer than necessary.
He said, “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.”
He also exhorted people with 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.”