Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has expressed regrets that Muslims in the state and across the country cannot observe Ramadan the way they have been used to over the years.
This is owing to the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
He, however, enjoined Muslims to extend their hands of fellowship to their fellow Muslims and non-Muslims.
Makinde gave this advice in a statement made available to us by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa.
He was reacting to the commencement of Ramadan fast which was announced to start on Friday (today) by the Sultan of Sokoto who doubles as the President-General of Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).
Makinde while felicitating with Muslims in the State for witnessing the commencement of the Ramadan fasting, urged Islamic faithful to pray relentlessly during the fasting period and specifically ask the Almighty Allah to show mercy on the people.
He said that Muslims must embrace the piety demanded of them during the Ramadan and ask Allah to put an end to Covid-19, which is ravaging the whole world.
He also enjoined Muslims in the state to use the month-long fasting period to pray for the peace of the State and the country at large.
According to the Governor, sacrifice and increased prayers are important and critical at this time when the world is fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.
“It was regrettable that Muslims in the state and across the country cannot observe the Ramadan the way they have been used to over the years; the situation should only be seen as part of the sacrifice we all have to make at this time.
I am aware that our Muslim brothers have been told that they would not be able to gather for Tafsir, Iftar and Tarawih prayers during the month-long Ramadan, due to the restrictions brought upon us all by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I enjoin you all to see this as a reflection of the sober mood the world has been thrown into as a result of the pandemic.
“Please use the opportunity of this month of blessings to seek Allah’s forgiveness to make the pandemic a thing of the past,” he said.
He also admonished Muslims to tune their minds to the messages of love, brotherliness and peaceful co-existence inherent in the messages of the Holy Prophet, while also being their brothers’ keepers.
“As our Muslim brothers and sisters are expected to adhere strictly to abstinence from food and other things during the month of Ramadan, I wish to enjoin them to extend their hands of fellowship to other fellow Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
“It is only by doing this, coupled with sharing whatever they have with others, particularly the underprivileged in the society, that their supplications can be answered and the world will be a good place to live in for all and sundry,” he added.
Governor Makinde, who quoted Qur’an 2 v 267, which says “O ye who believe, give of the good things which ye have,” said this act would help the underprivileged in the society and reduce hunger and poverty confronting the people.
Source: News update