The Abia State Government has said its total ban on religious gatherings is still in force as it informed Muslim community in the state to celebrate this year’s Eid el-Fitri at their various homes.
This is coming on the heels of the lockdown directed by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu-led government as part of precautionary measures to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Recall that the federal government had declared Friday, 1st and Monday 4th September, 2017 as public holidays to mark Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
This was confirmed by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, who made the declaration on behalf of the FG in a statement on Monday.
However, the Abia Government, in a release issued by the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu and made available to newsmen, in Umuahia, Friday, also explained that the decision to reinforce ban on gathering especially in the upcoming Sallah festival, was reached following consultations with the Muslim community in Abia State.
According to the release, “An agreement has been reached between the state inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19 represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barr Chris Ezem and the Muslim community-led by the Chief Imam of Abia State, Sheik Ali Ukiwe, and we informed all Muslims in the state that Eid Fitr for this year 2020 will be celebrated at home as there shall be no gathering at the Eid prayer ground.”
The Government, however, congratulated the Muslim ummah in Abia State for a successful Ramadan season and urged them to avoid the associated visit to relatives and neighbors while taking necessary measures to protect themselves and families in view of the global pandemic.