The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Oyo State Council on Thursday lauded the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdulganeey Agbotomokekere for suspending Jummu’ah service (Friday congregational prayers) until further notice.
A statement by the NUJ Chairman, Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Sola Oladapo said the development shows that religious leaders are circumspect and ready to join hands with Governor Seyi Makinde-led Task Force in controlling the spread of Covid-19 in Oyo State.
The 11-man Oyo NUJ task force had on Wednesday got wind of the meeting by the Chief Imam of Ibadanland-In-Council.
Confirming the suspension of the congregational prayers until further notice to journalists, the Mogaji of Atere compound, Alhaji Hazeem Atere said, “we held the meeting of the Chief Imam of Ibadanland-In-Council on Tuesday and it lasted for about six hours before we were able to agree on the need to suspend Jummu’ah service forthwith.
“The meeting which was chaired by the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, our revered Baba, Sheikh Agbotomokere and attended by Alfa Agba Ile Ibadan, Sheikh Abdulfatai Alaga; Sheikh Dr. Abdulbari Adetunji; Sheikh Abdulmojeed Abata; Sheikh Nurudeen Basunu; Sheikh Ismail Yusuf, myself, among others, jointly agreed on the suspension of Friday’s congregational prayers in Ibadan and environs.
“We have communicated same to all Imams and Alfas across all the mosques in all the 11 local governments in the State capital and admonished all to comply with the directives.
“And from this Friday, March 27, the Chief Imam of Ibadanland said there will be no Jummu’ah service at Oja’ba Central Mosque and other mosques in the city. Anyone who flouts such directives would bear the consequence.
“The Chief Imam also called on all to seek Allah’s mercy and recite regularly, relevant Quranic verses to put an end to the pandemic across the globe,” Atere added.
The Oyo NUJ committee on the sensitisation of the public on Covid-19 had also observed that prices of food items and medical consumables have skyrocketed.
The Union, therefore, called on the public to buy necessities that would enable them to stay at home to safeguard their health.
The committee also lauded the efforts of UCH Management for Isolating five (5) health personnel including a consultant who was exposed to a suspected case currently under Isolation at UCH.
The Chief Medical Director UCH, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo in a chat with the NUJ COVID-19 committee said the test of the isolated case came back inconclusive but further tests are still ongoing to ascertain the status of the isolated case.
Also, latest report that reached the committee alleged that a notable Ibadan chief held a birthday party on Wednesday around Agbowo area of Ibadan, despite warnings from government to avoid such gatherings for now.
The NUJ joins other well-meaning people of the state to implore residents to do all possible to comply with the stay at home directives to safeguard the health of the citizens.
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