By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
In a further bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Nasarawa State Government, has ban all congregational prayers, ordering shut all neighbourhood mosques across the state, ahead the coming month of Ramadan.
The decision to ban all congregational prayers, including the five daily obligatory prayers, was arrived at following an expanded meeting, attended by security chiefs, some senior traditional rulers and other top government officials, at the instance of Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, which held at the Government House, on Monday.
The meeting provided an opportunity for stakeholders to review the strategy put in place by government so far aimed at controlling and containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, after which more proactive steps are taken.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the Emir of Lafia, who doubles as the Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, HRH Justice Sidi Bage, said decisions taken at the expanded meeting were for the overall good of the citizens and people of the state, as well as protect them against the spread of the dreaded COVID-19.
Accordingly, the Emir said government has banned any form of congregational prayers and as the Muslim faithful approaches the holy month of Ramadan, apart from the obligatory prayers, the Tarawih and Tahajjud, have also been banned in public.
Muslim faithful in the state, are by this order, advised to observe all these prayers at home.
“It’s the decision of government that all over the state, this Ramadan that we are approaching, there will be no congregation for Tarawih, no congregation for Tahajjud.
“In fact, the decision of the government is to the fact that where people often congregate are those neighbourhood mosques, around where people live. The neighbourhood mosques are hereby ordered shut down. People are advised to pray at home,” the Emir stated.
Justice Bage noted that even though there are certain traditions that come with Ramadan, but in view of the current position of the world with respect to the pandemic, steps have to be taken in line with the strategy for the protection of the people of the state.
While calling on the people to be law abiding and to follow government directives, the royal father warned that security agents are on ground to enforce the order.
Also speaking, the Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe, said the security agencies are there to enforce the law, protect life and property, as well as apprehend offenders.
He added that all entry and exit points in the state will be adequately policed to prevent persons who may want to spread COVID-19 in the state.
“If you look at all the proclamations, the executive order, given by the Governor, all are geared towards protecting people’s lives against the spread of COVID-19,” the CP said.
He further warned that security agencies will not allow law breakers to operate at will in Nasarawa State, as according to him, “We will monitor them, we will fish them out, we will arrest them and prosecute them.”
Earlier, in an introductory remarks, Engineer Sule, showed appreciation to the people of the state, traditional rulers and religious leaders for their continued support during this difficult period.
The Governor expressed concern that following the spread of COVID-19 in the country, there was need to review government’s strategy on controlling and containing the spread of the virus, particularly with the approach of the holy month of Ramadan.