Do not open schools, religious centers, Mufti warns government

The Mufti of the Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafi’I, has called on government nationwide not to toy with the idea of opening schools and religious centres.

The cleric warned those who are operating partial lockdown to reverse to full lockdown.

This, he said, was due to the increase in Coronavirus cases across the country.

According to him, more stringent measures needed to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sheikh Shafi’I faulted the lifting of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by the Federal government.

“I think President Muhammadu Buhari got it wrong by lifting the lockdown. Mr President, instead, should have declared a total lockdown in the whole federation. This would aid the containment of the pandemic,” he said.

The scholar appealed to Nigerians to show understanding with the government on their efforts to contain the virus.

“We need to learn from other countries. The index cases have gone up in our neighbouring Ghana due to the relaxation of the lockdown. Countries with capacity to handle health issues are battling to contain the Coronavirus.

Some have been on the lockdown for over a month. We need to be careful so as not to complicate the issue at hand.

We should not allow the gains made by the government in combating the virus be eroded. This period requires great sacrifice from all of us,” he said.

He appealed to religious leaders and parents not to mount pressure on the government to re-open worship centres and schools, even when lockdown is relaxed.

“What we should all be concerned about is safety of our lives and that of our family members. Schooling activities, worship centres and other public gathering should be jettisoned for now pending the time the government declares victory over the COVID-19 ‘war,’” he said.

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