- A partial lockdown was on Tuesday, March 24, imposed on Abuja
- This was announced by the FCT minister, Muhammad Musa Bello
- Bello, however, said that the ban does not affect persons working in the medical, security and environmental services
As a preventive measure to curb the spread of coronavirus, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Muhammad Musa Bello has imposed a partial lockdown on Abuja.
Bello also directed all public servants of the FCT on grade level downwards to stay away from work until further notice, The Sun reports.
However, he explained that medical, environmental and security operations are exempted from the ban which affects social gatherings like parks, gardens, event centres, night clubs, bars, football viewing centres.
In a press briefing to journalists on Tuesday, March 24, the minister warned that there will be serious consequences for anyone who disobeys the earlier ban on academic and religious gatherings.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported the apex Islamic body in the country, Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), had ordered the immediate closure of all mosques in the FCT as a way of stemming the steady spread of the coronavirus pandemic among the Muslim faithful during prayers.
The director of administration of NSCIA, Alhaji Yusuf Nwoha, said in a statement he issued on Monday, March 23, that the decision was taken on the same day by the council under the leadership of its president, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, after consultations with Muslim scholars and other relevant stakeholders.
Legit.ng gathered that Nwoha said that the order for the mosques to close was with immediate effect.
While describing the decision as hard, he said Muslims should see it as necessary and join hands with the federal government and its agencies in the sustained fight against the spread of Covid-19, which has already been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organizations (WHO).
He added that the decision to close down mosques was not alien to Islamic tradition and culture as it could be traced to the time of the Prophet Muhammad when under such a situation, the Mu’adhdhin was asked to inform the faithful to pray in their dwellings.
“The NSCIA, therefore, solicits the cooperation of the Imams and all Muslims in the FCT to ensure compliance to this directive as it is in the interest of all and sundry,” the statement said.
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