Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has directed that prayer grounds across the state be opened for Muslim faithful to observe Eid-el-Kabir prayers.
Warning however that social distancing must be observed, Makinde said the prayers must be observed in strict compliance with all COVID-19 protocols in the interest of the health and well-being of the worshippers and people of the state.
The Governor speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa in a statement also urge the leadership of each prayer ground to ensure the availability of hand wash points and compulsory use of nose mask, adding that each prayer ground must only accommodate 25 percent of the capacity.
The statement reads in part “As the Muslim Ummah prepare to undertake this year’s Eid-el-Kabir prayers, the Government of Oyo State wishes to advice Islamic clerics and leaders to the need to maintain strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols, especially the social distancing rule.
“The Eid Praying Grounds across the state have, upon the directive of the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, been opened to Muslims for the purpose of the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir prayers.
“His Excellency reckons that prayers are important to overcome the challenges that presently assail us, especially the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, just like many aspects of our lives that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be an adjustment to Eid prayer gatherings. There is the need to ensure that not more than 25 per cent of worshippers are allowed at every instance in order to ensure compliance with the social distancing rule.
“Similarly, let it also be noted that no worshipper should be allowed into the praying ground without face masks and readiness to wash hands with soap and water in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
“To further ensure safety and ownership of the Covid-19 preventive measures, the Emergency Operations Centre, EOC, of the Oyo State Covid-19 Task Force, has sent advisories to major markets and shopping malls, on the need for strict compliance with Covid-19 preventive protocols during this festive period and beyond.
“The EOC has also contacted all the health educators in the 33 LGAs in the state with a mandate to reach out to possible places of gathering and advice on the need for responsible behavior, just as the centre has revved up risk communication advisories on radio.
“In addition to these measures, however, all clerics and leaders are expected to take on the responsibility of guiding our people to pay attention to even the minutest detail on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during this festivity.
“The need to follow all laid down guidelines on COVID-19 prevention must be emphasised to every resident of the state at this period, in accordance with the Own Your Action initiative of the State’s COVID-19 Task Force, which emphasizes that our wellbeing and safety are individual responsibilities.
“The Oyo State government wishes the Muslim Ummah a peaceful Eid-el-Kabir, filled with the blessings and benevolence of Almighty Allah.”