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COVID-19: Tambuwal warns against congregational preaching during Ramadan

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Sokoto state Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has warned against congregating in a large assembly in the guise of the usual preaching and voluntary midnight prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

The warning is coming following the suspension of all public preaching and voluntary midnight prayers by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Tambuwal gave the warning while receiving a situation report from the Task Force Committee on COVID-19 in the state.

Tambuwal also announced a ban on all international border markets across the state as well as making use of face mask in public place compulsory.

He said this step was taken in order to regulate the convergence of people in one place, a situation that would only increase the risk of getting infected by COVID -19.

The governor said Instead of the traditional public preaching the state government will now sponsor airing of the tafsir (preaching) of the Ulamas on television, radio stations in the state as well as online across the various social media platforms.

On the ban on the markets, Governor Tambuwal said it became necessary as the state task force on COVID-19 has submitted that their existence was contributing to the spread of disease.

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Tambuwal also approved the extension of the existing partial lockdown by two weeks, insisting the enforcement of the ban on inter-state movement must not be compromised.

Seeking for more support from traditional and community leaders in the state in the enforcement of the ban on social gatherings, Tambuwal thanked the Sultanate Council, traditional rulers, security agents, and other stakeholders for their unflinching cooperation so far.

In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaii Saad Abubakar lauded the state government for the myriad of measures being taken against the spread of the disease.

The Sultan informed the governor that as the leaders of the Muslim ummah, the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs has taken a decision of banning all the tafsir and tarawih in the Muslim ummah, in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to him, he held a meeting with all the Imams and Ulamas in the state where they unanimously consented to the decision.

The Sultan further thanked the people in the state for their understanding.

Earlier in his address, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Ali Inname insisted on the need to do more in fighting the spread of the virus more so that the index case claimed he has no travel history.

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