Islamic leaders in Oyo State have called for peace and oneness in the State, as a way of moving forward.
The call came as the Muslim Community, on Friday, joined their counterparts across the world to observe the Eid al-Adha prayers, which held in partial compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
Governor Seyi Makinde had on Thursday, announced the reopening of praying grounds across the State but with the warning that the prayers must be held in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
It was observed that in some praying grounds in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the worshippers complied with the washing of hands and wearing of nose mask directive, while social distancing was difficult to enforce.
The Muslim faithful, who started thronging into the praying grounds around Alakia and Yidi Agodi-Gate early, mostly came with their nose masks and sachets of water for ablution and washing of hands, while worshippers at Yidi, Agodi-Gate who did not come with their nose mask were given free nose masks so they could gain entrance into the prayer venue.
Heavy security presence was also observed in prayer grounds visited, with many worshippers dancing and rejoicing in appreciation to God for sparing their lives and for the chance to enter the praying ground again.
Addressing the Muslim Ummah at the Agodi Praying Ground, the Chief Imam of Ibadan land, Sheik Abubakre Agbotomokeke, urged Nigrians to always thank God irrespective of the situation and challenges facing them.
Appealing to all and sundry to continue to comply with all guidelines laid down by the National Center for Disease Control as a way of curtailing the spread of the novel Coronavirus, Sheik Agbotomokeke said the people must learn from the implications of being locked down and prevented from even worshipping together in mosques.
“We thank the Almighty God for sparing our lives till today, a lot of things had happened, especially as regards the issue of COVID-19. For months now we had no opportunity to pray together like this but we thank God for today. Let us continue to play safe and obey all guidelines put in place to curtail the spread of Covid-19,” he said.
The Aare Musulumi of Yoruba land, Edo and Delta states, Dawood Makanjuola, appealed to Muslims and other Nigerians to promote peace and refrain from issues that could cause violence in the country.
He stated that the essence of the celebration must not be forgotten, calling on all Muslims to remain united, peaceful and live in the assurance that things will in the long run end in joy and happiness, just as part of the lessons of the Eid-el-Kabir festival.
Also speaking, the Asiwaju Adinni of Ibadanland, Mutiulai Oladejo, said the celebration of the Eid is about sadness that eventually turned into joy.
He enjoined the people, especially Muslims, to ensure that they make the less privileged and vulnerable around them happy by sharing the abundance of whatever God might have blessed them with, challenging the Muslim faithful to always look for ways to support people, in love, instead of being seen as selfish and greedy, which is not acceptable to the Almighty God.