A statement released by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity today May 23, quotes the President as saying that COVID-19, which caught the world off guard, and has put a damper on what would otherwise have been “a time of celebration for the Muslim faithful to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting period.” He said he is aware of the inconveniences the lockdown and other measures put in place to curb the spread of Coronavirus has caused Nigerians.
President Buhari has assured Nigerians that the current lockdown put in place to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus, will not go longer than necessary as it would be ”reviewed from time to time to ease the increasing hardships on the people”.
The President gave the assurance in his Eid-el-Fitri message to Muslims.
“I am well aware of the inconveniences these tough measures have brought on the lives of Nigerians, including limiting religious activities and gatherings in large numbers. No government would intentionally impose these tough and demanding measures on its citizens if it had a choice.”
Speaking further, the President said
”It is not easy to give up many of these important duties and activities but it became imperative to do so in order to control or limit the spread of this deadly disease.
Let me use this opportunity to commend the sacrifices of both Muslims and Christians for their cooperation in the enforcement of the social distancing guidelines.”
President Buhari appealed to other Nigerians “whose businesses and means of livelihoods were badly affected by the prolonged lockdown measures for their understanding and cooperation.”
He also exhorted people with means to continue helping their neighbors and the less well-to-do “so that we can all come out of this pandemic stronger and more united.”
The President told the Muslim faithful that “this year’s Eid event is an occasion for sober reflection rather than celebration because of the long shadows of gloom that the coronavirus has cast on people’s lives.”
He prayed to Allah to ease the hardship among the people as they struggle hard to flatten the curve, while wishing all Nigerians “Eid Mubarak.”