The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared Friday (today), the first day of Ramadan.
He declared that the sighting of the moon in almost every part of the country on Thursday signified Friday was the first day of Ramadan.
Abubakar called on Muslim communities in the country to start fast on Friday (today) in accordance with the teachings of Islam.
Meanwhile, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), sent his best wishes to Muslims in the country and around the world.
Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, described the year’s Ramadan as a challenge, owing to the global pandemic in 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.”
The President cautioned Muslims and enjoined them to refrain from Ramadan rituals and traditions, such as group meals and congregational prayers that had been put on hold by Muslim religious authorities all over the world.
Also, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, called on Muslims to maintain government directives on the prevention on the spread of coronavirus, saying such was the sacrifice Nigerian must make.
Lawan stated this in his Ramadan message on Thursday, urging Nigerians to use the period to seek the face of God.
“I also urge us to remember in our prayers our health workers and other care givers who are at the front line of the fight against COVID-19. We should also pray for divine guidance for our leaders to always take the right decisions and do the right things especially in this trying time for the comfort and well-being of the people.”
Also, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, urged Muslims to pray against the epidemic.
According to the statement, sacrifice and increased prayers are important at this time when the world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress through its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, congratulated all Muslim faithful for the 2020 Ramadan.
The APC spokesman said it was very important that all Nigerians continue to maintain hygiene through regular washing of hands, keeping social/physical distance and staying at home to prevent further spread of the deadly virus.