President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that COVID-19 lockdown put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country would not remain longer than necessary.
In a Sallah message issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the, Garba Shehu, on Saturday, President Buhari commended the sacrifices of both Muslims and Christians for their cooperation in the enforcement of the social distancing guidelines
He said the pandemic, which had infected 4.7million people and killed 300, 000 others across the globe, caught the world off guard and put a damper on what would otherwise have been “a time of celebration for the Muslim faithful to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting period.”
President Buhari said: “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.”
He also appealed to Nigerians “whose businesses and means of livelihoods were badly affected by the prolonged lockdown in many parts of the country for their understanding and cooperation.”
He added: “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.
“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.”