By Michael Olugbode
Muslims in Borno and Yobe states observed the three Raka’at prayers to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival amidst heavy security presence.
There is no visible observance of the social distancing rule as thousands of worshippers chose to trek the long distance to praying grounds scattered all over the states as restriction was placed on vehicular movement.
In Borno, the Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, alongside his predecessor, Senator Kashim Shettima, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Garbai Elkanami, and other top government officials all worshiped at the expansive Ramat Square in Maiduguri.
The Chief Imam of Borno State, Imam Shetima Mamman Shettima Saleh, led the two raka’at prayers.
His huthba (sermon) was however short, believed to be in compliance with the COVID 19 protocols.
The chief Imam called on the Muslim Ummah to tolerate and live peacefully with one another.
The Ramat Ground as well as other venues were full with large number of worshippers.
Zulum, later at the Government House after returning from the prayer ground, urged citizens to sustain prayers for the return of peace in Borno State and Nigeria at large.
His message, which was delivered by the state APC Chairman, Hon. Bukar Dalori, congratulated Muslims for successful completion of Eid prayers across the state.
In Yobe State, Governor Mai-Mala Buni was joined by his deputy, Hon. Idi-Barde Gubana, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Ahmed Mirwa and other top government officials with thousands of other worshippers to pray at the Central Mosque Damaturu.
The Chief Imam of Yobe Mosque, Huztaz Hudu Mohammed, led the prayer.
Buni, in his goodwill message to the citizens, asked them to embrace the values of Islam which according to him are faith, family and compassion to neighbours, among others.
He enjoined Muslim faithful in the state to exhibit good neighbourliness through love, peaceful coexistence and generosity in the spirit of the Eid-el-kabir Sallah celebrations.
He said: “We should also be inclined to mutual understanding, justice and kindness to followers of other religions for the attainment of a stronger and united country.”
This occasion inculcates in us the spirit of good neighbourliness, love, honesty, generosity, discipline and above all fear of Allah in all our actions.”
The statement commended the people for their support and cooperation to his administration stressing that government will remain committed and focused to providing basic infrastructure “for speedy development of the state and to improve the lives of our people.”
“I urge you to support security operatives in the state to improve on the relative peace and security we now enjoy and pray for the prosperity of the state and country.”
In Yobe, the celebration was peaceful with prayers performed at all the grounds across the 17 local government areas of the state.
Security operatives were on high alert with Air Force jets seen hovering around the state capital Damaturu.
Vehicular movements were restricted from Thursday 30th July, 11:00pm to Friday 31st July, 11:00am.