As Muslim faithful marked the Eid-el-Kabir celebration yesterday with large turnout of worshippers at Eid grounds there was largely non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols, Daily Trust findings show.
Ahead of events to mark the occasion Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) issued a public health advisory to members of the public, especially in view of the presence of the deadlier delta variant in the country.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread when people gather and do not adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures. As we celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, we urge Nigerians to be aware of the high risk of spread of COVID-19.
“We appeal to religious and traditional leaders to ensure adherence to safe practices at mosques, places of worship and other venues, where religious and social gatherings occur,” the NCDC advisory read.
But our reporters who visited eid grounds and some recreational places in some states said COVID-19 protocols were observed in the breach. There was, however, partial compliance in a few places.
In Gombe, Eid prayers were held in different Eid grouds and several Jumu’at mosques across the state.
Although there was a large turnout of faithful, prayers in most eid grounds monitored by our correspondent were held without observing any form of social distancing like the use of facemasks or washing hands with soap or hands sanitizer.
At the Sheikh Ismaila Idris Eid ground Tumfure, the prayer was held and attended by hundreds of worshipers that filled the eid premises to capacity. Also, at the Federal Lowcost, Alkahira, Arawa, Jan Kai, and Bypass Jumu’at mosques respectively, the prayer was attended by a large crowd.
In all the places, only a handful of worshippers were sighted with facemasks, with no social distancing or provision of containers or sanitizers for hand washing.
However, at the Central Eid Ground, where Emir of Gombe, Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III, Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, Senator Danjuma Goje, and Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami prayed, some of the dignitaries were seen with face masks.
Also, thousands of residents converged at the Emir’s Palace, where a colourful durbar procession was held. Our reporter observed that residents mingled freely during the durbar without recourse to the COVID-19 protocols.
Similarly, there was a massive turnout of people at different eid grounds in Kano with very low adherence to the COVID-19 protocols with regards to wearing of facemask and observing social distancing.
However, at the Kofar Mata prayer ground where the governor and the Emir of Kano observed their prayers, it was observed that most of the dignitaries had facemasks on their faces but only a few of other congregants used facemask.
When Daily Trust visited the Ado Bayero Mall which houses the popular Shoprite supermarket along Zoo road, only a few fun seekers were seen inside the expansive mall.
In Bauchi metropolis, the majority of faithful declined to observe the COVID-19 protocols leaving only government officials and traditional rulers and their guards who complied during the eid prayers.
Governor Bala Mohammed had, in his sallah message, appealed to citizens of the state to observe the COVID-19 protocols.
Our correspondent observed that residents disregarded the plea and carried on with their normal business without observing any of the COVID-19 protocols.
At the Central Eid Ground along the Gombe Road where Governor Mohammed and the Emir of Bauchi, Dr. Rilwamu Suleiman Adamu, prayed it was observed that all government officials as well as other senior traditional title holders who accompanied the Governor wore facemasks and also observed physical distancing in the mosque.
But the multitude of people who trooped out in their thousands for prayers violated the protocols as they neither put on facemasks nor observed the physical distancing.
The situation was the same at recreation centers at the Bauchi city as residents, especially women and children went about normal their activities without observing any of the COVID-19 protocols.
In Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, visits to several eids prayer grounds and recreational canters showed that except for a few notable personalities, majority of the worshipers and fun-seekers flouted the COVID-19 protocols.
At the Ilorin Central Eid Prayer Ground, Irewolede, except for the Emir, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and other notable personalities like former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and a few other top government functionaries and personalities who maintained social distancing during the prayer, majority of the worshippers were without face masks and maintained no form of social distancing before during and after the prayers.
The same scenario was also observed at the Sultanate Central Mosque Adewole which is another popular eid prayer ground in Ilorin. There was free mingling among the people most of who didn’t use facemasks.
At the popular Diamond Recreational Centre which is mostly for children, many children having fun at the time of our reporter’s visit and some of their parents were not on facemasks.
At the Water View recreational centre, GRA Ilorin, adults were seen having fun without observing social distancing. There was also no enforcement of the Covid-19 protocols by officials in
In Abeokuta, Ogun State, our correspondent observed that amid large turnout of faithful, there was partial compliance with the safety protocols at the eid praying grounds visited on Tuesday.
It was gathered that a handful of worshippers wore face masks while there was a total lack of compliance to the physical distancing protocol.
The eid grounds visited were Lantoro, the largest and official praying ground, Owu Central Mosque, and Ibara Housing Mosque, all in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The State Governor, Dapo Abiodun who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Shuaib Salis, former Speaker of House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, members of the state cabinet and other Islamic leaders were present at the praying ground.
Our correspondent observed that the government officials and politicians wore face masks, but social distancing was totally ignored.
Addressing the gathering, the governor’s representative urged the Muslims to continue to observe the safety protocols during the celebration.
“And as we celebrate, do so in moderation and also in remember that the pandemic is not over, continue to observe COVID-19 protocols in our celebrations,” he said.
In Plateau State, our correspondent reports that social distance and other COVID-19 protocols were not observed in most of the praying grounds, while worshippers were seen within and outside the grounds without wearing facemasks.
Worshippers were seen exchanging handshakes with one another and water containers for handwashing were not also seen in most of the grounds visited.
Daily Trust reports that even prior to the Sallah festivity; people in most worshipping centres, market places and other gatherings were not observing COVID-19 protocols
There was a large turnout of Muslim faithful at the Eid praying ground in Ado-Ekiti, where it was observed that a large percentage of adherents observed the COVID-19 protocols, using their facemasks and social distancing.
At the entrances of the praying ground, there were hawkers selling facemasks to attendees before joining the crowd of worshipers.
Many recreational centers around the state had very many visitors who came to rejoice with family and friends.
There was full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the Victoria Garden City (VGC) mosque in Lagos during Eid Prayers on Tuesday.
Social distance was duly observed as the worshippers wore their face masks neatly.
From Peter Moses (Abeokuta), Haruna Gimba Yaya (Gombe), Zahraddeen Yakubu Shuaibu (Kano), Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado-Ekiti), Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi), Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin), Ado Abubakar Musa (Jos), & Khadijat Lawal (Lagos)