COVID-19: Sal­lah in Daura with­out Buhari

We miss our pres­i­dent – Emir of Daura

Weekly Trust - - Front Page - Muideen Olaniyi, Abuja & Habibu Umar Aminu, Katsina

For the first time, Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari cel­e­brated ei­del-kabir out­side Daura, his coun­try home, no thanks to COVID-19. Since he as­sumed the man­tle of lead­er­ship in 2015, he has con­sis­tently cel­e­brated the eid-el-kabir in the an­cient town.

From his res­i­dence on Sal­lah Day, residents will troop out to fol­low him to the eid ground. Same thing is re­peated af­ter the prayers. At the eid ground, the pres­i­dent will slaugh­ter his ram. Aside from pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity to re­con­nect with rel­a­tives, the pres­i­dent hosts dig­ni­taries from across the coun­try and even be­yond. Last year, he hosted Guinean Pres­i­dent, Al­pha Conde.

But this year, Buhari cel­e­brated Sal­lah in Abuja, the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT). The pres­i­dent ob­served the eid el-kabir prayers at home with his fam­ily.

Pres­i­dent Buhari said the ac­tion was taken in or­der to ad­here to the ad­vi­sories from the Pres­i­den­tial Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and the Nige­rian Supreme Coun­cil for Is­lamic Af­fairs (NSCIA).

The two units (rakaat) of prayers was led by the Chief Imam of the State House Mosque, Ab­dul-Wahid Su­laiman.

Two big rams were slaugh­tered af­ter the prayers in keep­ing with the tra­di­tion of the fes­tiv­i­ties.

Sub­se­quently, the pres­i­dent took pic­tures with mem­bers of his fam­ily.

Last Wed­nes­day, a pres­i­den­tial aide, Garba Shehu, had an­nounced in a state­ment is­sued that Pres­i­dent Buhari would again not be re­ceiv­ing Sal­lah homages by re­li­gious, com­mu­nity, party and gov­ern­ment lead­ers in or­der to stop the spread of the COVID19 infectious dis­ease.

Shehu said Pres­i­dent Buhari would ob­serve the eid el-kabir prayers with his fam­ily at home, just as he did dur­ing the eid el-fitr a lit­tle over two months ago, in line with ad­vice from NSCIA and PTF.

The pres­i­dent re­newed the pro­to­cols as is­sued by the PTF that large gath­er­ings, as much as pos­si­ble, should be dis­cour­aged.

Mean­while, the Emir of Daura, Umar Faruk, yes­ter­day said Daura Emi­rate missed its re­spected son - Pres­i­dent Buhari, at this year’s eid cel­e­bra­tion due to COVID-19.

Faruk, who was ad­dress­ing his peo­ple dur­ing this year’s eid cel­e­bra­tion, said Buhari has never missed com­ing home to cel­e­brate Sal­lah, es­pe­cially Ei­del-Kabir.

Ac­cord­ing to him, “Though we miss his phys­i­cal pres­ence, the pres­i­dent is with us in our hearts and we wish him the best and prayers to con­tinue to steer the coun­try to greater heights.”

Daily Trust Satur­day re­ports that Pres­i­dent Buhari has never missed eid el-kabir cel­e­bra­tion at his home town, even when he was a mil­i­tary of­fi­cer.

Our re­porter gath­ered that the pres­i­dent would rather stay for a day and de­part the fol­low­ing day in­stead of miss­ing the cel­e­bra­tion.

The pres­i­dent’s coun­try home dur­ing Sal­lah used to be busy with lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional guests. But this year, it was empty with only few se­cu­rity guards at their duty posts.

This year’s cel­e­bra­tion held at the Ko­far Arewa eid ground where the emir and the pres­i­dent used to ob­serve prayers in the an­cient town was at­tended by many Mus­lim faith­ful.

Un­like in the past where the emir along­side his dis­trict heads and other tra­di­tional ti­tle hold­ers rode on horses back to the mosque, this year, the emir ar­rived in a car and re­turned to his palace in the same ve­hi­cle as all fes­tiv­i­ties had been sus­pended due to coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

The tra­di­tional dur­bar that draws spec­ta­tors from across the globe was miss­ing as peo­ple walked back home to con­tinue with their low-key cel­e­bra­tion.

Emir of Daura said this pe­riod re­quired in­ten­si­fied prayers for peace­ful co­ex­is­tence across the coun­try and com­mended gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to­wards restor­ing peace in cri­sis-rid­den places.

He called on wealthy in­di­vid­u­als to con­tinue to as­sist the less priv­i­leged ones in the so­ci­ety, given the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion of the coun­try.

The emir also as­sured his peo­ple of his con­tin­u­ous readi­ness to lead with jus­tice and fair­ness.

The Dan San­wai Daura and Chief Imam, Safiyanu Yusuf, in his ser­mon, called on peo­ple to live their lives as taught by

Prophet Muham­mad (SAW), es­pe­cially by fear­ing God in their daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

Yusuf prayed to Al­lah to see the coun­try through the pan­demic suc­cess­fully.

Chair­man of Daura Emi­rate De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (DEDA), Aliyu Daura, who spoke on Pres­i­dent Buhari’s ab­sence, said “as a fa­ther to us, we usu­ally feel elated when­ever he comes home for Sal­lah, but his ab­sence this year will be greatly felt.

“We can only keep pray­ing for his well be­ing and that of the na­tion.”

An­other res­i­dent, Bishir Mam­mam, said the ab­sence of the pres­i­dent and the dur­bar had made the Sal­lah cel­e­bra­tion in the town to be at its low­est ebb.

“When­ever he is in town, we get to see VIPs, min­is­ters, vis­it­ing Heads of States and so on. Spe­cial dur­bars or­gan­ised for them add glam­our to the Sal­lah fes­tiv­i­ties, but the COVID-19 has al­tered ev­ery­thing,” Mam­man said.

Though we miss his phys­i­cal pres­ence, the pres­i­dent is with us in our hearts and we wish him the best and prayers to con­tinue to steer the coun­try to greater heights

PHOTO: NAN

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari (R) ob­serves the slut­ter­ing of the ram dur­ing the Eid-El-Kabir cel­e­bra­tion with his fam­ily in keep­ing with the ad­vi­sories from the Pres­i­den­tial Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nige­rian Supreme Coun­cil for Is­lamic Af­fairs, at the State House Abuja yes­ter­day

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