President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, May 23 assured Nigerians that the lockdown measures put in place by the Federal Government to check the spread of COVID-19 would not remain longer than necessary.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President; Garba Shehu who said President Buhari gave the assurance in his Sallah message to Nigerians.
Buhari said the pandemic caught the world off guard and put a damper on what would otherwise have been “a time of celebration for the Muslim faithful to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting period.”
He said the lockdown would be reviewed from time to time to ease the increasing hardships on the people.
Buhari said: “I am well aware of the inconveniences these tough measures have brought on the lives of Nigerians, including limiting religious activities and gatherings in large numbers.
“No government would intentionally impose these tough and demanding measures on its citizens if it had a choice.”
He also appealed to Nigerians “whose businesses and means of livelihoods were badly affected by the prolonged lockdown in many parts of the country for their understanding and cooperation.”
He added: “For the first time in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the people’s spiritual, social, and economic lives.
“This year’s fasting period was particularly challenging for Muslims because they had to forgo many important aspects of their daily worship, including the routine congregations for prayer and the recitation and interpretation of the Holy Qur’an as well as traveling for the lesser pilgrimage to Makkah.
“It is not easy to give up many of these important duties and activities, but it became imperative to do so in order to control or limit the spread of this deadly disease.”