The Kwara State government on Friday cancelled the Eid-el-Kabir prayer ahead of the July 31 festivities in the state.
The state’s Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, who disclosed this to journalists in Ilorin, added that the state government also suspended vigil prayers in churches across the state.
He described the cancellation as a tough decision made in the interest of everyone.
The deputy governor disclosed that the state government had in the last few days held meetings with different stakeholders in the state on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alabi said: “The cancellation of the Sallah prayer is necessitated by the spike in the COVID-19 cases in the state.
“Of course, the upcoming Ileya festival is a special period for our people.
“As it stands today, Kwara has 707 confirmed cases, out of which 449 are active.
“We have successfully managed and discharged 244 patients and we lost another patient yesterday (Thursday). That brought to 15 the number of casualties from the pandemic in our state.
“We recorded 56 percent of our total confirmed cases between July 9 and July 23, increase in the number of patients now requires intensive care to survive.
“This points to a grim situation that requires drastic measures.
“For this reason, the government had consulted widely with religious, labour, transport workers and market leaders, and had taken the following measures in the overall interest of the people.
“The huge numbers that are expected to gather for the special Eid prayers may lead to a spike in the COVID-19 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 state.
“Following consultations with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the government hereby announces the suspension of vigils until further notice and church services should also not exceed two hours, with full compliance with the safety measures in place.”
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