The Presidency has cancelled this year’s Eid-el-Fitr homage to President Muhammadu Buhari by various communities.
It also said the President would be conducting a private Eid prayers with his family to mark the end of the month-long Ramadan fasting.
The foregoing measures were contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, on Friday, just as the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, reminded the public that socio-religious gatherings remain prohibited.
According to the Presidency, the changes in the pattern of celebrating Sallah with the President this year are both in obedience to new rules to help in combating the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure social distancing.
President Buhari has over the years received homage from individuals and groups, including top government officials, political leaders, community heads, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and children.
Announcing the pattern for this year in the state, the Presidency said: “With the Eid-el-Fitr celebration around the corner and the month-long Ramadan fast coming to an end, President Muhammadu Buhari will be conducting his Eid prayers with his family at home.
“This is in observance of the lockdown measures in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, put in place to save lives and protect people from all dangers.
“This is also in line with the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, suspending Eid congregational prayers across the country as well as the protocol against mass gathering issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“Further to this, the President, who has traditionally shared the joyous moment with top government officials, political leaders, community heads, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and children, will not be receiving these homages in a bid to stop coronavirus from further spreading.”
Congratulating Nigerians on the occasion of the Eid celebration, IGP Adamu said the successful conclusion of the Ramadan, a period of self-denial geared towards attaining wholesomeness, reinforces his belief that with the citizens’ collective perseverance and voluntary compliance with the prevention regulations put in place by governments at all levels, the nation will surely overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, DCP Frank Mba, on Friday, Adamu assured the nation of adequate security during and after the Eid el-Fitr celebrations.
He said proactive and robust anti-crime measures, including the deployment of tactical and intelligence assets of the Force, were already in place to prevent any untoward incidents in the country.
“The Force however reminds the citizens that the COVID-19 prevention regulation orders, including the inter-state movement restriction orders, national curfew and the prohibition of mass socio-religious gatherings by the Federal Government in Lagos, Ogun, Kano states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and restriction orders by governments in some states of the federation, are still in force.
“It therefore enjoins the citizens to observe the Eid celebrations, bearing in mind the unusual times occasioned by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Force will leave no stone unturned towards the due enforcement of the orders,” the statement said.