President Muhammadu Buhari has commended Nigerians for their patience and understanding over the inconveniences created by precautionary measures put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19.
He also reiterated his call on citizens to continue to exercise patience and understanding over the inconveniences, especially the regulations on places of worship.
In his Sallah message to Muslims on Thursday, ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the President said the outbreak of the coronavirus has made it difficult for people to gather in places of worship as they are used to, urging worshipers to abide by the guidelines for safety of their lives, and loved ones.
“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,” the President said.
He added: “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.”
Commended the sacrifices of Muslims and Christians in abiding by the COVID-19 guidelines for the good of society, the president gave the assurance that his administration would continue to provide economic reliefs to the people.
“On our own part, we shall continue to provide economic reliefs to the people to minimize the unintended hardships these guidelines have inflicted.”
The President also reminded worshippers that COVID-19 is a worldwide affliction which has forced places of worship around the world to be shut down.
While wishing Muslims a happy celebration, the President called on worshipers 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,” he said.
“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 to make our society better.’’
Speaking further, the President reminded Nigerians of his efforts to root out corruption in the country, stating that the efforts had so far brought a lot of changes in the country’s polity.
He appealed for more support and understanding as investigations are carried out on both legacy and fresh cases.