The President, Muhammadu Buhari, has again said he would not receive Sallah homage as part of activities marking the end of Ramadan.
He asked that religious, community and political leaders, who usually paid him traditional Sallah homage should be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, titled, ‘President Buhari to mark Eid in the Villa, plans modest celebration at home.’
It has been a tradition that during major religious festivals, the Vice President leads the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and other leaders and residents of Abuja in paying homage to the President inside the Villa.
Buhari sustained the tradition up until last year when a restriction was declared on the number of people that could gather due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the statement on Sunday, Shehu said Buhari would not receive the Sallah homage like he did last year.
The statement read, “As Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid Al-Fitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, President Buhari directs that all celebrations be limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis.
“To this effect, the President, the first family, his personal aides, members of cabinet and service chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa to observe the Eid prayers. Time fixed for the prayer is 9am.
Thereafter, there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the President by religious, community and political leaders. As was the case last year, the President encourages such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic.”
According to the statement, Buhari also condoled with all who lost family members due to what he described as the “madness” going on in parts of the country.
Shehu quoted him as calling on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence.
In a related development, the Emir of Daura, Dr Faruk Umar, has suspended activities marking the end of the Ramadan fast in the emirate council.
The Emirate cited security reasons for the development.
The royal father instead directed district heads in the council to join people in their domains to pray for peace in Nigeria.
Among the affected activities is the procession (Durbar) to the emir’s palace on the Sallah day, while the emir also directed that no district head should visit him on that day.
The directive was contained in a circular dated May 6, 2021, and addressed to the district heads in the emirate.