Kwara cancels Eid prayers, rolls out safety measures

The Kwara State Government, on Friday, announced the cancellation of Eid congregational prayers across the state, citing the steep rise in the state’s Covid-19 cases and the danger of such a large gathering worsening the situation.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor and spokesman for the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, Rafiu Ajakaye, the government placed a ban on vigils in churches and mosques, while restating the ban on concerts, clubbing, beer parlours, and bars in hotels.

The Deputy Governor and Chairman of the COVID-19 committee, Kayode Alabi, who spoke at a press briefing in Ilorin, said the decision to cancel the Eid prayers was “painful but necessary” to save lives.

However, he added that; Because of the huge numbers expected to gather for the special Eid prayers and the possibility of such gatherings leading to spike in our cases and potential deaths, the government, in consultation with the Council of Ulamah under His Royal Highness, the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, hereby cancels congregational Eid prayers for 2020 across the whole state.

“This is a tough decision but it was made in the interest of all of us. And there will be Friday prayers as have been restored but in strict compliance with the rules of physical distancing and the use of face mask.

Moreover, following consultation with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the government hereby announces the suspension of vigils until further notice. Church services should also not exceed two hours with full compliance with the safety measures in place.

Alabi, in his address, noted that the government task force would be on the ground to enforce the rules and the compulsory use of face mask, “which incidentally becomes operational on the Eid Day, July 31, 2020.”

The deputy governor added that mobile courts would try any offenders, after which convicts would face appropriate sanctions to be determined by the court.

He explained that the state government was setting up a task force to enforce the new directives, including new guidelines on transport unions and market associations.

The COVID-19 committee chairman added that the Kwara Mall (popularly known as Shoprite), the amusement park, markets, and University of Ilorin Zoological Garden would be closed to the public on Eid Day and the day after.

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