COVID-19: What clerics discussed with El-Rufai — Sheikh Gumi

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic scholar of renown, has advised the people of Kaduna State not to allow a one-day celebration to roll back the gains of almost two months of lockdown in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

The Islamic scholar who gave this advice while speaking to newsmen shortly after Governor Nasir El- Rufai met with some clerics in Government House on Monday evening, pointed out the Eid celebration comes up only once in a year.

According to Gumi, the rate of COVID-19 infections and related deaths are fewer in Kaduna State because of the proactive actions that Governor El-Rufai took from the onset of the pandemic, advising that Nigeria is unlike Saudi Arabia where crowds can be controlled in places of worship.

‘’Once you allow people to come and pray, they are going to troop out in thousands you cannot control. And the point is that we have stayed for over two months under lockdown. We are afraid that one single day will come and spoil all the gains that we had.

‘’Kaduna is one of the states that has the least infection rates. We can see deaths in hundreds, in all the core-northern states like Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, Yobe, Borno. But Alhamdulillah, because Kaduna had gone into lockdown earlier than all the states, we have fewer infection rates than the other states. Nobody can deny this fact,’’ he said.

The sheikh said that the Islamic scholars and clerics merely advised the government on measures to take, but it is left for the administration to take whatever decision that it deems fit.

He, however, said that he will be okay with any decision that the government takes regarding the Eid celebrations.

Gumi, who is also a medical doctor, advised people to be their brother’s keeper in these testy times, adding that the government will soon give out palliatives to vulnerable people in society.

The Islamic scholar, who is also a retired military officer, argued that it is “important that political leaders consult other sectors of the society, religious leaders, traditional leaders, professionals, on issues that concern the state.”

Gumi said that they had fruitful discussions and everyone at the meeting gave useful advice but that no decision was taken during the two-hour deliberations, adding that it is “the leader is the one who decides.”

According to him, El-Rufai “assured us that he is doing things in the interest of the citizens. He has no personal gain in the lockdown.  In fact, he also emphasised that the state makes more money when he opens markets. But he had to close them because human lives are more precious.”



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