Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has warned Muslims in the country to shun all forms of congregational prayers and group meals as Ramadan begins on Friday in a bid to avert spreading the deadly Coronavirus.
Buhari, in a statement on Thursday, also wished Muslims well as they begin this year’s 30-day fast, following the sighting of the moon.
“I congratulate all Muslims as they commence this year’s Ramadan fast which is depicted by self-denial, universal brotherhood, austerity and helping relatives and needy people,” said the President.
Buhari described Ramadan 2020 as a challenge, falling as it is in the period of the global pandemic, which has spread to more than 200 nations, with virtually all countries advising citizens to avoid large gatherings and have their prayers and meals (suhoor and iftar) individually or with family at home.
“In this Ramadan period, the kind of socializing you are used to now risks spreading the Coronavirus,” the President cautions Muslims, while enjoining them to refrain from those Ramadan rituals and traditions such as group meals and congregational prayers that have been put on hold by Muslim religious authorities all over the world.
Buhari urged Muslims to endure and not to use the Coronavirus as an excuse not to participate in the Ramadan fast, unless such abstention is warranted by the excuses clearly outlined by health and religious authorities.
He wished Muslims in the country and the world over all the blessings of the holy month.