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Gov. Zulum Meets Religious Leaders In Borno State on COVID-19 Lockdown

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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In an effort to control the spread of coronavirus in Borno State, Governor Babagama Umara Zulum, today Monday , invited the Chief Imam, Clerics, Islamic Scholars and other religious leaders including the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for discussion on the way forward to curb the menace of the COVID-19 and control its spread in the state.

Zulum while addressing the religious leaders and members of CAN at the multi purpose hall and Council Chamber of the Governemnts House Maiduguri at a separate meeting noted that Borno is an agrarian state and most people are farmers and now, planting sesean is around the corner which have made it necessary for considering to ease the lockdown order by Wednesday 14th May 2020 at 10.30 pm

The governor noted also that most people in the state have to work on daily basis to earn their livelihood, hence, government is considering easing the lockdown with some stringent measures. All religious leaders in the state are required to submit to the state government, their suggestions on whether or not mass religious gathering should be allowed or not by Wednesday at the expiration of the lockdown.

He therefore directed the Islamic leaders and Imams as well as the leaders of CAN to submit their advice and suggestions for a way forward to th state government through the office of the Deputy Governor by Wednesday for government to consider their inputs before easing the lockdown.

He however solicited for their support and cooperation to ensure the safety and peace of the people while urging them to speak to their followers to understand and believe that the disease, COVID-19 is real and has no medicine or cure yet . That is the reason Governemnt is taking every measure necessary to contain the pandemic and not to frustrate or suffer anyone but to protect lives of the citizens.

The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Jiddari Shuwa appealed to the religious leaders to be honest and sincere in their advice and contributors by giving suggestions to th Governemnts with all sincerity and fear of God.

While Sheikh Muhammadu Arabi Abulfathi called on his colleagues to support and cooperate the with the government in this direction.

Sheikh Abubakar Kyari spoke in the same vein suggesting short sermon during Friday Congregational Prayers, maintenance of social distancing during prayers and social gatherings.

Sheikh Modu Mustapha commended the governor for such initiative and called on his colleagues to obey constituted authorities as enshrined in Islam and exhibited by Prophet Muhammadu (SAW) citing some verses of Quran and Hadith's on any pandemic.

Sheikh Tijani Umara noted that pandemic is already a public knowledge and Disciples of Prophet Muhammadu SAW and renowned Islamic Scholars and clerics have explained in details about the pandemic and what should be done like special prayers and how worship could be observed without any trouble or misinterpretation.

The Chief Imam of Borno, Sheikh Laisu gave closing prayers with the hope that whatever the suggestions or advice of the Muslim leaders, such will be communicated to th Chairman of the State High Response Team on COVID-19 who is also the State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Umar Kadafur on or before Wednesday this week as demanded

The CAN State Chairman, Bishop Mohammed Naga in his remarks, thanked the governor for considering CAN as part of the decision making body in the state and promised that CAN as a body will submit it's position to the government accordingly.

He also noted that covid-19 is not a joke and therefore should be viewed with all seriousness.