President Muhammadu Buhari has banned the traditional Sallah greetings and homages usually paid to him by top government officials.
Buhari said he would observe this year’s Eid-el-Kabir prayers with his family members within the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday.
According to the statement titled “President Buhari to Mark Eid prayers with family at home”, Buhari will not be receiving Sallah homage from well-wishers.
Shehu said the development was in line with advisories on how to curtail further spread of COVID-19.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari will 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 advisories from the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA and the Presidential Task Force, PTF on COVID-19.
“In wishing all Muslims a safe and happy Eid, the President reiterated the protocols as issued by the PTF that large gatherings, as much as possible, should be discouraged.
“Where small groups choose to hold the Eid together, face masks are absolutely necessary, as is social distancing. Advisedly, such prayers should hold outdoors and worshippers are encouraged to bring their own prayer mats.
“In order to stop the spread of the disease, the President will not be receiving Sallah homages by religious, community, party and government leaders and urges all citizens to observe the occasion as advised by state and local authorities.
“He once again wishes all citizens a safe and happy Eid.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Buhari usually joins Muslims for Eid prayers in any of the prayer grounds in Abuja whenever he does not travel to his home town, Daura in Katsina State for the festivals.
Thereafter, Abuja residents, including Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; religious leaders, ministers and federal lawmakers among others usually pay the President Sallah homage inside his official residence.