Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has felicitated Muslims in the state for witnessing the commencement of the Ramadan fasting.
The Governor, in a statement issued in Ibadan on Thursday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, urged Islamic faithful to pray relentlessly during the fasting period and specifically ask the Almighty Allah to show mercy on the people.
He said that Muslims must embrace the piety demanded of them during the Ramadan and ask Allah to put an end to Covid-19, which is ravaging the whole world.
He also enjoined Muslims in the state to use the month-long fasting period to pray for the peace of the state and the country at large.
According to the Governor Makinde, sacrifice and increased prayers are important and critical at this time when the world is fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. According to him: “It was regretabble that Muslims in the state and across the country cannot observe the Ramadan the way they have been used to over the years, the situation should only be seen as part of the sacrifice we all have to make at this time.
“I am aware that our Muslim brothers have been told that they would not be able to gather for Tafsir, Iftar and Tarawih prayers during the month-long Ramadan, due to the restrictions brought upon us all by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I enjoin you all to see this as a reflection of the sober mood the world has been thrown into as a result of the pandemic.
“Please use the opportunity of this month of blessings to seek Allah’s forgiveness to make the pandemic a thing of the past.”he added.
He also admonished Muslims to tune their minds to the messages of love, brotherliness and peaceful co-existence inherent in the messages of the Holy Prophet, while also being their brothers’ keepers.
The statement further read: “As our Muslim brothers and sisters are expected to adhere strictly to abstinence from food and other things during the month of Ramadan, I wish to enjoin them to extend their hands of fellowship to other fellow Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
“It is only by doing this, coupled with sharing whatever they have with others, particularly the underprivileged in the society, that their supplications can be answered and the world will be a good place to live in for all and sundry.”
Governor Makinde, who quoted Qur’an 2 v 267, which says “O ye who believe, give of the good things which ye have,” said this act would help the underprivileged in the society and reduce hunger and poverty confronting the people.
He wished Islamic faithful a successful fasting period, while praying to God to grant everyone the strength needed for the Ramadan.