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Eid-el-fitr: EKEDC reassures customers on improved service delivery

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Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has reassured customers of its commitment to improved service delivery across its distribution network.

It gave the reassurance on Saturday, as it felicitated with Muslim faithful on the Eid-el- fitr celebration.

Mr Godwin Idemudia, EKEDC’s General Manager,  Corporate Communications, said in a statement that Eid-el -fitr was a solid reassurance that with every challenge and difficulty came respite, redemption and renewal.

Idemudia noted that while Eid-el-fitr was symbolic for its celebration, it was also the expression of the ideals of the holy month of Ramadan.

This, he described as essential for peaceful coexistence, togetherness and nation building.

“As we commemorate this year’s Eid-el-fitr celebration, it is important that we continue to exemplify the true teachings and lessons of Ramadan including piety, sober reflection, sacrifice, goodwill, love for God and a deep sense of community.

“It is noteworthy that this year’s Eid-el- fitr is coming at a time when the world is faced with the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Eid-el- fitr, however, offers us a solid reassurance of hope that while we may have more to endure, better days and normal times will return, ” he said.

He appealed to customers  to support the company’s efforts by using its designated channels for the immediate settlement of bills and all other obligations.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

Asowata Omosuri: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

Eid-el-Fitr: Foundation distributes 1, 200 litres of PMS to commuters

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An NGO, Success Ogunkolade Foundation, on Tuesday distributed 1, 200 litres of free Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol to 300 commuters in Ijebu-Ijesa, Osun, to celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that each of the commuters received four litres of the product at a designated filling station in the town.

Mr Success Ogunkolade, the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, while addressing newsmen said the gesture was aimed at cushioning the effects of Coronavirus pandemic amidst the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Ogunkolade, who noted that he had earlier distributed free food to residents of the town, said free petrol was his little way of touching the lives of less privileged.

“There is no doubt that this Eid-el-Fitr is a unique one as it happened when the world was battling with Coronavirus pandemic.

“The virus has impacted on the livelihood of many negatively. It is on the basis of that I have to contribute my token so as to put smiles on the faces of the people.

“Each of the commuter received four litres of petrol and I believe this will help them to move around to do one or two things, while the commercial drivers among them will use the same to make little money,” Ogunkolade said.

While congratulating the Muslim faithful on the successful completion of Ramadan fasting, he urged them to continue to abide with lessons learnt during the holy month.

Ogunkolade also urged them to use the occasion of the celebration to pray to God to bring an end to the virus, adding that with prayers nothing will be impossible.

He said with prayers and strict adherence to safety guidelines given by government, the virus would soon be a thing of the past.

Some of the beneficiaries, however, commended the foundation for the good gesture.

Mr Nathaniel Ogunwola, one of the beneficiaries said the gesture was a welcome development, adding that people of the town were not expecting it.

Another beneficiary, Mr Kabiru Arisekola, said the free petrol came at the right time.

Arisekola said the petrol would assist him to save the money he would have used to buy petrol to move around.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Eid-el-Fitr: CAN lauds Muslims over compliance with govt COVID-19 directives

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The Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Oyo State Chapter, has commended Muslims in the state for complying with government directives on Eid-el-Fitr celebration amidst COVID-19.

This is contained in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Benjamin Akanmu, and made available to newsmen in Ibadan.

Akanmu felicitated with Muslims on the successful completion of the 30 days fasting, commending them for observing Eid-el-Fitr prayer in their various homes in compliance with government directives.

“On behalf of the entire Christians in Oyo State, I congratulate all Muslims throughout the world, particularly those in Oyo State on the Eid-el- Fitr celebration.

“I pray God Almighty to accept all our prayers and grant everyone more grace to witness more of it in good health,” Akanmu prayed.

He described as high commendable their obedience to the directives on public gathering which signified the humility in Yoruba culture.

“We as religious leaders should also not forget to continue to lead by example. Moreso, we are directed by God to honour and obey the laws of the land as well as those in authority,” he said.

The CAN chairman admonished all to be patient with the government and support every effort put in place to drive COVID-19 out of Nigeria.

Akanmu also urged Muslims to always apply the lesson learnt during the holy month of Ramadan to every aspect of their lives and relationship with other people.

Besides, he called on Muslims and adherents of other religions to live in love, peace and harmony with one another.

The CAN chairman stressed the need for both Muslims and Christians to comply with the restriction orders as well as other guidelines reeled out by government and experts.

“With collective efforts of all we can kick the stubborn virus out of Nigeria.

“We must not relent in contributing to the religious harmony enjoyed in the state while also praying for the nation.

”I will love to implore you all to continue to pray for our state and Nigeria as a nation to ensure that the country survive the hardship ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he urged.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Man heads towards mosque before offering Eid al-Fitr prayers during COVID-19 lockdown in Kathmandu, Nepal

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A man heads towards a mosque before offering Eid al-Fitr prayers during the lockdown amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Sulav Shrestha/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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General news

Eid-el-Fitri Palm Mall turn back fun seekers for disregarding social distancing order

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Fun seekers who throng to the Palm Mall, Ilorin, on Monday to shop at ShopRite were turned back for disregarding social distancing order of government to curb Coronavirus pandemic.

A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited the Mall reports that the management and security operatives bared many of the fun seekers, mostly children from entering the hall.

The Palm Mall is an edifice that house Shoprite and other shops that deals in clothings, household items, telecoms, banks and eatery, among others.

The report says that fun seekers always patronise the Mall during festive periods.

As a result of government directive to curb further spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state, the management of the edifice is forced to either shutdown or close early due to the surging crowd.

NAN gathered that many of the children who had gained access to the vicinity of the mall were denied access into the shop while others were stopped at the gate from gaining entrance.

However, those who gained entrance queued with the hope that if they were orderly, the management may admit them into the shop.

A security operative at the mall, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the children would not be allowed to shop because many of them were not wearing masks.

The security also said that the children disregarded the social/physical distancing order of the government and experts advice.

NAN, however, observed that some children in company of their parents were allowed into the Mall, but not many of them could go in at the same time.

The fun seekers besieged the mall as Muslims across the globe are celebrating Eid-el-Fitr to mark the end of a 30-day fasting from dawn to dusk.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Roundup: Major Mideast states announce further ease of anti-coronavirus precautions amid Eid al-Fitr festival

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Most of the major Middle East countries on Monday announced the further ease of the precautions against the novel coronavirus, as Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim festival of breaking the fast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is being observed across most of the region.

In Turkey, the hardest hit country by the coronavirus in the Middle East, reported 987 new cases on Monday, raising the total number to 157,814, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Meanwhile, the death toll from COVID-19 rose to 4,369 in Turkey after 29 new fatalities in the past 24 hours were confirmed, Koca added.

Turkey has been recently witnessing more signs of slowdown in the pandemic, with daily new infections kept at around 1,000 in the past week.

The Iranian authorities on Monday allowed partial reopening of the Muslim Shiite shrines across the country after more than two months of closure over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Iranian health ministry reported 2,023 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number in the country to 137,724 since the outbreak in late February, state TV reported.

Meanwhile, the death toll has hit 7,451 in Iran and 107,713 have recovered with 2,585 still in critical condition, according to the country’s health ministry.

Saudi Arabia, also hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, also announced on Monday the gradual ease of precautionary measures against the COVID-19, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The gradual steps, with social distancing regulations obeyed and based on medical reports of the spread of the virus, will start from Thursday and expand until the situation is back to normal, the SPA quoted Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah as saying.

Saudi Arabia has controlled the spread of the virus through early precautionary measures, especially maintaining a low death rate, the minister noted.

The Arab kingdom announced on Monday 2,235 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of infections to 74,795, while death toll rose by nine to 399.

In Israel, only 17 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday, bringing the total number in the country to 16,734.

After four consecutive days without a death case, the Israeli health ministry reported two new fatalities, bringing the death toll in the Jewish country from the COVID-19 to 281.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli transport ministry announced the full resumption of the state’s rail system on June 8.

It is worth noting that Israel’s GDP contracted by annualized 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020, the sharpest drop in the last 20 years and mainly due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released by the state’s Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

Palestine on Monday declared the end of lockdown and a set of new measures in dealing with the COVID-19, lifting the ban on movement between cities immediately, and allowing public transport to operate in terms of safety procedures.

Shops, commercial and industrial establishments, including cafes, restaurants, and health clubs as well as mosques and churches, will be allowed to reopen starting Tuesday morning, while official bodies will return to work regularly starting Wednesday morning after the end of Eid al-Fitr holiday, according to Palestine Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye.

The number of COVID-19 cases registered in Palestine has reached 602, including 475 recoveries and five deaths, with no new infections reported on Monday.

Qatar’s health ministry on Monday announced 1,751 new infections of the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 45,465.

As the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday announced 822 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number in the country to 30,307.

The UAE’s health ministry also confirmed three more deaths, bringing the death toll to 248.

In Kuwait, 665 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths were reported on Monday, raising the tally of infections to 21,967 and the death toll to 165, the health ministry said in a statement.

The Kuwaiti government has been imposing a full curfew in the Gulf country to curb the rapid increase of coronavirus cases.

Egypt recorded on Monday 702 new COVID-19 cases and 19 new deaths, bringing the total number of the cases and the death toll in the country to 17,967 and 783 respectively.

The North African country has already started easing restrictions and gradually reopening services and offices that have been halted since mid-March amid the government’s coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

In Morocco, 99 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 7,532 in the North African country, with 200 deaths and 4,774 recoveries.

Iraq confirmed 163 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number in the country to 4,632.

An Iraqi parliamentary crisis committee on Monday demanded reimposition of a full curfew after the end of the Eid al-Fitr holiday to curb the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.

In Jordan, both the public and private sectors will resume work on Tuesday after more than two months of stoppage as part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as the kingdom reported three cases of coronavirus on Monday, bringing the overall number to 711.

In Lebanon and Syria, the number of COVID-19 cases on Monday rose by five and 20 respectively to 1,119 and 106.

War-torn Yemen recorded on Monday 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the provinces controlled by the government, bringing the total number to 233.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Eid-El-Fitr: CAS charges troops on combat readiness

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The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has charged the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole to be vigilant and combat ready to guarantee security throughout the Eid-El-Fitr period and beyond in the country.

Abubakar made the call on Monday at the Maiduguri Air Force Base during the Eid el-Fitr lunch with troops of the Air Component.

Abubakar commended the troops for their commitment in carrying out the fight and urged them to sustain the tempo.

He said that the luncheon was in keeping with the tradition of celebrating festive period with frontline troops to boost their morale and foster comradeship in their duty of securing the nation against criminal elements.

Abubakar said that in spite of the challenges of competing resources occasioned by the  COVID-19 induced lockdown, the NAF through pragmatic planning and foresight, maintained the tempo of  its Operations, not only in the North East, but other  parts of the country.

“I want to reiterate that not only are we going to sustain operations, we will continue to leap forward based on my key drivers.

“We have kept the pace in training of both air and ground crews, developed the Regiment speciality to defend our Bases and increased the force structure of the Service, whilst building more accommodation and office infrastructure to cope with the growth,” Abubakar said.

He said that NAF had also recruited about 11,000 personnel’s to increase its man power disposition for services to the country within the last five years.

“I’m delighted to also observe that very soon we are going to get the Airforce flank flying in Damaturu as well to ensure that our aircraft do not have to come back to Maiduguri to refuel while fighting these bandits.

“Need I remind you all that our exploits would not have been possible without the support of the President and Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, who has provides us with the resources required to perform our assigned duties.

“We can only show our appreciations for the President’s support to the Nigerian Air Force by remaining a discipline force and exhibiting the highest level of professionalism in all our actions,”said Abubakar.

In his remarks, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, lauded the Chief of Air Staff, the Air Components Commander of the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole and other personnel’s for their support in combating insurgency in Borno and  Northeast in general.

Zulum said that the epic efforts of the NAF was recognised and has been commended by the people of Borno.

“In addition to providing enabling environment to people of Borno state to do their normal activities, we also acknowledged the support of the NAF especially in capital projects to support displaced persons in the state.”

Zulum reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to support NAF in achieving its desired objective in the fight against terrorism.

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Edited By: Yakubu Uba/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Roundup: Iran reopens Muslim shrines on Eid al-Fitr after 2-month closure over COVID-19 pandemic

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The Iranian authorities on Monday allowed partial reopening of the Muslim Shiite shrines across the country after more than two months of closure over the coronavirus pandemic.

During the opening hours between an hour after dawn and an hour before dusk, the worshippers, however, were still not allowed to enter the interior covered spaces where the saints’ tombs lie, according to a statement by the health authorities.

Social distancing regulations must be obeyed, the statement noted.

In most of the shrines, the worshippers were checked for their body temperatures upon entrance and were asked to wear masks, the local media reported.

The reopening coincided with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the Muslim festival of breaking the fast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Along with other holy shrines across the country, Imamzadeh Saleh, an imamzadeh mosque located at Tajrish Square in Tehran’s northern Tajrish district, opened early morning on Monday.

The courtyard of the shrine had already been disinfected and incoming people were asked by the attendants to use their own prayer mats and books.

“Life without spirituality has no meaning. Worship is central to our life,” said a middle-aged attendant of the shrine, standing inside the courtyard and instructing the worshippers with health directives.

Iran’s health authorities announced the closure of all shrines across the country on March 17 as the country was struggling to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Sitting on a stretched prayer mat at a quiet corner of the yard of Imamzadeh Saleh, a young man facing toward the saint’s tomb was citing verses from the holy Quran.

“Praise God for this moment, on this happy Eid. People should appreciate the change of situation,” said the young man, who only identified himself as Matin, a Persian Literature student at Iran’s Islamic Azad University.

The Iranian health ministry on Monday confirmed a total of 137,724 cases of the COVID-19 in the Islamic republic, including 7,451 deaths.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Eid-el-Fitri: Mararaba residents celebrate amidst COVID-19 pandemic 

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Muslims in Mararaba celebrated the end of  Ramadan fast with enthusiasm, as they besieged relaxation centres inspite of the physical distancing directive of government, to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Some of them who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Monday, said that the month of Ramadan, also known as Islam’s third pillar of faith,  is a month of mercy, and Muslims were expected to fast, give charity and be mindful of their way of life.

Nofisat Osho, a resident of Mararaba, said that although this year’s Ramadan fast was a bit different due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, she was able complete the fast with the help of Allah.

“It wasn’t easy carrying out the fast and it felt different because of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world for months now.

“I missed five days because I was “un-pure” during the fasting period, but I give thanks to Allah for the completion of the month of Ramadan.

“Pregnant women, women on their monthly periods, the sick and children are the only people allowed to miss the fast.

Hassan Jubril, also a faithful, said Allah’s mercy and peace was sought for by Muslims all over the world during the month of Ramadan and in his opinion, the month of Ramadan was the best month of the year.

Jubril said that he spent his time praying in the mosque and giving  charity to the poor and needy, as he expects the almighty Allah to reach out to them too.

Aisha Musa, also a resident of Mararaba, said she was really happy for witnessing the end of the Ramadan inspite of the Coronavirus pandemic,  as she vehemently offered her prayers to Allah with great expectations.

“I am really happy that the Ramadan has come and gone regardless of the pandemic, it has really been smooth and drawn me closer to Allah,” she added.

Fatima Abdullahi, another believer, said she missed the fast for nine days but hopes to complete the fast after the festive period.

“Although I missed the fast for nine days, Ramadan is really a month of dedication and must be obeyed, I hope to complete the fast after the Sallah (Muslim festival),” she said.

Hamza Yusuf, a Muslim faithful, who was visiting in Mararaba, said that that Ramadan was indeed a beautiful month for all Muslims and the period in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad.

“Ramadan is a beautiful month for all Muslims around in the world. It is the third pillar of Islam.

Yusuf, however, added that the pandemic restricted them from many things like going to the mosque to pray and attending lectures, but they had to obey government directives on physical distancing  and stayed at home to pray.

“Due to this current situation, we had to stay home and stay safe because of this COVID -19 pandemic.

“Islam admonishes us to stay home if there is an outbreak of disease.

“However, one of the things we missed due to this lockdown is going to the masjid (mosque) and some Islamic lectures we normally attend.

“But we have stayed at home, and also prayed for this pandemic to end,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the 30 days fast has its unique significance.

The first 10 days of the fast is for seeking the forgiveness of Allah, the second 10 days is for the blessings of Allah and the last 10 days is for freedom.

The search for the night of majesty (Lailatul Qadri) is believed that prayers are answered quickly and the heavens are opened as requests are answered by Allah.

The Muslim faithful are  expected to fast for the whole month (29-30) days.

The fast, however, begins at the sighting  of the moon and ends at the sighting of the moon, it is called the month of mercy.

The moon indicates the beginning of a new month.

Muslims are expected to practice good habits, reach out to the needy, read and assimilate the Quran, so as to continue in good deeds after the fast.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)

 

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Eid-el Fitr: Onyeama donates palliatives to Muslim community, 10,000 households in Enugu

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The Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, on Monday in Enugu donated palliative items through his foundation, ‘Kwusike Foundation’, to the Muslim community in the state.

Onyeama said that the gesture was in furtherance of his assistance to the residents of the state in the face of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The minister also said that the move was to enable the Muslim faithful in the state to have an eventful Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

He said that the pandemic had imposed much difficulties on Nigerians and the rest of the world, adding that it was more difficult at a time the Muslim faithful were celebrating Sallah.

He urged the Muslim faithful to face the pandemic with prayers as well as abide by the safety protocols recommended by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Responding, the Leader of the Hausa Community in the state, Alhaji Abubakar Sambo, said that the gesture could not have come at a better time than when they were celebrating Sallah.

Sambo said that the pandemic had affected their means of livelihood and well-being and commended Onyeama for the intervention.

“We have sacrificed a lot as a result of this pandemic and I pray that God will continue to unite us and give our leaders the wisdom to lead,” he said.

Meanwhile, Onyeama said that he had taken delivery of no fewer than 10,000 bags of 10kg rice which was the third tranche of his intervention in the state.

The minister said that he discovered that a lot of vulnerable people in the rural communities were not reached during the distribution of the first and second tranches of the palliative items.

“In this third tranche, our target is to supply no fewer than 10,000 households with food items and protective equipment,” he said.

Onyeama said that the process would continue until the entire state was covered.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Eid-el-Filtr: Nigerians told to maintain core values as united entity

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Chief Olayide Adelami, former Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, has urged Nigerians to always live as one irrespective of faiths and maintain their core values as a united entity.

Adelami stated this in his Eid-el-Filtr message to Muslim faithful on Monday in Akure.

He added that Nigerians should not allow negative developments to distort their love, peace and tolerance.

Adelami, who is a gubernatorial aspirant in the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ondo State, reminded Muslims to intensify more prayers to defeat the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic that had disrupted normal living.

“As we celebrate, let us remember to stick to COVID-19 preventive measures while praying that Allah (SWT) helps us to defeat the virus soon,” he said.

He lauded the cordial relationship, deep show of love and tolerance among Christian and Muslim faithful in the state.

The gubernatorial aspirant enjoined the Muslim faithful to imbibe and put into apt use the lessons of the Ramadan fast, which centre on love, sacrifice and tolerance.

Adelami said the observance of piety, self-denial, discipline, and love during the Ramadan fast showed that Nigerians could remain a united and peaceful nation irrespective of daunting challenges.

“I must also not fail to use this festive season to urge leaders of faith in our nation to show more commitment to peaceful co-existence and tolerance,” he said.

The APC chieftain also used the celebration to reiterate his resolve to transform the state through exemplary leadership in driving a governance that would usher in development, if elected.

“In-sha-Allah, the people of Ondo state shall enjoy the dividends of good governance when I assume the mantle of leadership next year,” he added.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Eid-el-Fitri: Kwara youths urge Muslims to pray for Nigeria’s peace, unity

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A socio-cultural group, Kwara Youth Unity Forum Initiative (KYUFI), on Monday asks Muslim faithful to pray for the peace and unity of the country that is battling with COVID-19 pandemic.

The group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Shafi Ismail Alada urged the Muslims to use the festival period for sober reflections.

It also congratulated Muslim faithful on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.

The Forum commended them for their commitment and steadfastness in completing the 30 days of Ramadan fast.

KYUFI further enjoined Muslims to ensure that the teachings and lessons of the Holy month of Ramadan always manifest in their daily lives.

It described the sacrifices and supplications, during the period, as necessary ingredients for the peace, unity and development of Nigeria.

“We have to make every effort to continue to be in close relationship with Allah during and beyond the Ramadan period.

“The regular prayers and recitation, and above all, understanding and acting on the injunctions of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) must be sustained,’’ it added.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Eid el-Fitr: NOA urges Nigerians to observe precautionary measures against COVID-19

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As Nigerians join other Muslims worldwide to mark the 2020 Eid-el-Fitr amid the coronavirus pandemic, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged citizens to observe all precautionary measures against the disease.

The Director General of NOA, Mr Garba Abari, made the call in a Sallah message to the Muslim faithful in Nigeria, a statement by the agency’s Head of Press Unit, Mr Paul Odenyi, said.

Abari also urged them to imbibe the lessons of Ramadan, some of which are discipline, selflessness, and piety.

According to the director general, the month of Ramadan is a period that Muslims should take advantage of to strengthen their faith and stay safe from the ravaging coronavirus by adhering strictly to the precautionary measures put in place.

He said leaders at the local level should take responsibility for enforcing movement restriction orders, inspiring compliance with all advisories by government in line with the spirit of Sallah.

“We cannot afford to be careless or nonchalant about safety precautions in our religious and cultural observations.

“We must be cautious (so as) not to facilitate community transmission of COVID19.

“Leaders, especially in religious and traditional communities, must take responsibility for the safety of the members of their communities from COVID-19 as they interact.

“They can do this by ensuring that prescribed social distancing, use of face masks, regular hand washing, and sanitisation are observed in our communities,” he said

The NOA chief urged Muslims to keep praying for divine protection of Nigerians from the coronavirus, and for the speedy recovery of those already infected.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Economy

Eid-el-fitr: IPMAN seeks prayers for peaceful coexistence

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called on Muslim faithful to pray for  unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians during the Eid-el-fitr celebration.

IPMAN’s President, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo made the call in a statement issued on Monday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the Federal Government had declared May 25 and 26 as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-fitr celebration.

Okoronkwo said the lessons of the holy month of Ramadan include fervent prayers, piety, goodwill and sacrifice which were all critical for nation building and national development.

He said: “On behalf of the National Executive of IPMAN and its Board of Trustees, I want to felicitate with our Muslim brothers and sisters as they mark Eid-el-fitr.

“I urge them to continue to pray for the unity and peaceful coexistence of our beloved nation during this critical moment.

“We are all aware of the challenges posed to our economy by the COVID-19 pandemic and crash in global crude oil prices and we believe that with prayers and sacrifices, Nigeria will surmount these challenges.”

Okoronkwo said IPMAN, on its part would continue to support the government’s policies and regulations aimed at bringing sanity to the petroleum sector and improving the nation’s economy.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Foreign

Spotlight: No more reunion in Eid for families lost beloved in PK-8303

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Zubair Muhammad’s wife and sons were waiting for her husband and their father at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on Friday, expecting a family reunion in the Eid and a big bag of gifts Muhammad promised to bring from Lahore.

Muhammad flew to Lahore on Wednesday for his office work which had been long postponed due to suspension of flights amid COVID-19 lockdown. Before leaving, he hugged his younger son and told his family that he will be back on Friday with a bag full of Eid gifts for him and his sibling.

As planned, Muhammad, along with other 90 passengers and eight crew members, took flight PK-8303 bounded for Karachi from Lahore on Friday. The plane took off from the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore at 1:08 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Karachi after 105 minutes. At around 2:45 p.m., one or two minutes before its landing at Karachi, the flight crashed.

The reunion of the Muhammad’s broke. “My brother is no more, and his wife and older kid are grief-stricken. His younger son is only three years old, he doesn’t know much about the meaning of death, and is still waiting for his father to come back with the bag full of goodies as Eid gift,” Ilyas, Muhammad’s brother, told Xinhua.

Ilyas said that they have been looking through the bodies with a hope to identify the dear departed to save his wife and children from the agony of waiting for over three more weeks to get the body after identification, but they failed and had no choice to opt for DNA test.

The plane caught fire after crashing, burning most of the bodies inside beyond identification. Eyewitnesses from the Model Town Colony where the plane crashed told Xinhua that rescue teams could manage to reach at the crash site after 20 minutes due to traffic flow and congested streets in the colony, but the fire was so serious that it burnt the plane and the passengers inside to ashes when the help arrived.

Salman Qureshi, a rescuer with the Karachi based non-government organization Saylani Welfare Trust, was among the first ones who reached at the incident site. Qureshi, who has been working as a rescuer for the last 20 years, said that he has never witnessed such a horrific sight in his life.

“We were working with the firefighters to douse the blaze. The plane was quite big and it was burning badly, and several vehicles also caught fire because of it. Residents were in acute panic, some of them rushing out of their houses and others were injured,” Qureshi told Xinhua.

He said that several bodies were also scattered on the roof tops, and due to congested streets they shifted the bodies to the ambulances from the roofs of the houses, adding that except a few bodies most of them were “pieces of charcoal.” Finally, 97 bodies were found after the crash and two luckily escaped from the deadly crash.

Mareen Yousuf, media coordinator of the health minister of Sindh province, told Xinhua that 21 of the victims have been identified and handed over to relatives while identification of the rest is underway, adding that the health department has requested the families of the deceased to cooperate for DNA test to identify the remaining and it will take 21 days to identify the bodies through the test after which they will be handed over to the families.

Muhammad Zubair was also on board the ill-fated plane. He was also one of the two who miraculously survived the plane crash.

“The plane seemed OK, the weather was clear, and everyone in the plane might have thought to reach the destination to meet their loved ones with in the scheduled time. Everything was smooth until the plane unexpectedly took off again after a few jerks while attempting to land at the airport,” Zubair told Xinhua.

The passengers got panicked, as it became obvious that the plane has met some fault, but things seemed under control again when the pilot announced for the second time that they are going to land at the airport.

“There was a relief in the plane, because we were landing. The flight was smooth and the danger was apparently averted, but then all of a sudden something happened which I hate to recall. The plane falls down. An inferno followed. I couldn’t see anyone. There was fire everywhere,” he said.

Suddenly he saw the light somewhere in the plane, and for him it was like the light at the end of the tunnel, he managed to rush towards it, he himself doesn’t believe how he managed to do it, and finally he succeeded in jumping off the burning metal, about 10 feet down into the street.

Zubair was later shifted to a hospital with 30 percent burn injuries, but his condition was stable and the doctors discharged him on Sunday, the Eid day, which his travel fellows also wanted to celebrate with their families.

Yousuf told Xinhua that the second survivor, president of the Bank of Punjab, was sitting close to an emergency exit, and he controlled his nerves to quickly open the exit door after the plane crashed. And Zubair, who was sitting the back seat, saw the door opening and he restored his conscious and quickly jumped off the burning plane. The bank official got multiple fractures but his condition is stable, Yousuf said.

The plane fell in a 6-8 feet wide street with houses on both sides, while trying to land at the airport. Some aeronautical experts also said that it took the plane only 30 seconds to one minute more to land at the airport, but the pilot could not do it due to some defect in the plane.

Briefing media about the crash, Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan International Airlines Arshad Malik said that the plane was technically fit for flying and was given clearance for flying after fulfillment of all technical requirements.

He said that two runways were made available for the plane when the pilot told the air traffic control that he is ready to land, but rather than landing he went for another round in the air, and later told the traffic controller about some fault in the aircraft before the second landing attempt, but shortly after that it lost contact with the airport and crashed in the neighboring area.

Cause of the crash has not been determined yet, and the government has formed an investigation board to probe the incident, the country’s Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said.

A team from the aircraft’s makers on Monday have arrived in Karachi for investigation, and the plane’s black box will be sent for decoding to further help the probe, according to local reports.

(XINHUA)

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People perform Eid al-Fitr prayer at home in Uganda

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A family perform Eid al-Fitr prayer at home in Wakiso district, Uganda, May 24, 2020. All places of worship including mosques in Uganda were temporarily closed to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)

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Eid al-Fitr marked in Tehran, Iran

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Eid-el Fitr: Gov. Ganduje frees 294 correctional centre inmates

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Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has granted freedom to 294 inmates of correctional centres in the state, a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, said on Sunday.

It said that Ganduje witnessed the release of the inmates from the correctional centre at Goron Dutse on Sunday, and quoted him as declaring that the gesture was in the spirit of Eid-El Fitr.

“The governor also said that the gesture was to complement the Federal Government’s efforts to further reduce congestion in the nation’s correctional centres.

“Ganduje also recalled that President Muhammadu Buhar‎i had directed governors to decongest correctional centres to help observe COVID-19’s social distancing protocol.

“It is based on that directive that in the last two months the state has released 603 inmates. The goal is to decongest Correctional Centres. We hope that they will be of good character henceforth,” the statement said.

It said that the governor also gave each of the freed inmates N5,000 as transport fare to their destinations.

The statement quoted the Comptroller of Prisons, Abdullahi Magaji, as commending Ganduje for donating 30 hectares of land to the Federal Government for the construction of a modern Correctional Centre.

Magaji also advised the freed inmates to be of good character and stay off crimes to avoid going back to prison.

The statement indicated that the governor was accompanied to the centre by his deputy, Nasiru Gawuna, and the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero. (NAN)

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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Eid-el-Fitri: Return to Allah in prayer to end COVID-19 – Cleric 

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The Chief Imam of Hosanna Mosque, Abakaliki in Ebonyi, Alhaji Ishaq Adamu has admonished Muslim faithful to continue offering prayers to end COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Adamu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria after observing Eid-el-Fitri prayers in Abakaliki on Sunday.

The Imam said that Muslims have had the opportunity to return to Allah during Ramadan and prayers to end the scourge.

“The pandemic is a sign that Allah wants both Muslims and Christians to get closer to Him through prayers to end the virus.

“I advise people to keep washing their hands, use sanitisers and face masks as directed by the government.

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team were at the Eid prayer grounds to observe the level of compliance and they were satisfied,’’ Adamu said.

He also urged the Muslim faithful to sustain lessons learnt during the Ramadan while they should extend palliatives supports to poor in the society.

“Some faithful have done well in reaching out to the poor in Onueke, Afikpo-North and Ohaukwu Local Government Areas with rice and money to cushion the effect of the pandemic and to enable them to celebrate Eid-el-Fitri with others.’’

Also, the Chief Imam of Central Mosque, Ogbe Hausa in Abakaliki, Alhaji Muhammad Labaran said the period required all to be patient, unite and support the governments.

Labaran, represented by Secretary of the central mosque, Usman Adam, was optimistic that the COVID-19 had increased mutual understanding among the people.

He urged the faithful to understand that the preventive measures ordered by the government were for safety and enable people to stay alive.

He promised to continue to enlighten people on the need for adherence.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Eid-el-Fitr: ACF urges Nigerians to share love with compatriots

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The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has felicitated with the Muslim Ummah the end of the Ramadan fasting period and Eid-el-Fitr Sallah celebration.

The forum urged Nigerians to share love with their compatriots.

The National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Kaduna.

“We use this Sallah to call on all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic affiliation or religious belief to see this as an opportunity to share their love with their compatriots, especially those who are in need, and need to be loved and cared for.

“We are grateful that even though with COVID-19 is novel, the Muslim community has broadly cooperated with the government in observing the anti COVID-19 protocols,” he said.

Yawe said the forum is also aware that this year’s Eid-el-Fitr is a unique event because it has come at a time when the whole country, indeed the whole world is ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to him, it is a trying period not only for Nigerian Muslims but for all Nigerians.

The forum also prayed that the Almighty Allah “will approve of your kind deeds and forgive all your disobedient acts and sins”.

While also praying Allah to ease the sufferings of Nigerians, ACF expressed optimism that the Almighty Allah will show Nigerians the right path and help in every step of life.

Edited By: Benson Iziama/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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EId-el-Fitr: El-Rufa’i commends Muslim faithfuls for obeying COVID-19 orders

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i on Sunday commended the patience and understanding displayed by Muslim faithfuls in observing the Ramadan fasting under conditions of quarantine this year.

El-Rufa’i made this commendation in an Eid-el-Fitr message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, and made available to newsmen in Kaduna.

The governor prayed that Almighty Allah would amply reward and bless these efforts.

He also praised the spirit of sacrifice and resilience displayed by the community during the fasting period and called for continued adherence to public health guidelines to protect citizens from COVID-19.

El-Rufa’i said that the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic had created limited the traditions associated with fasting and the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr this year.

”I thanked the Muslim community for abiding with the public health guidelines and avoiding congregational worship and communal gatherings to break the fast.

”I acknowledged that these public health guidelines also make it impossible to permit the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr with congregational prayers, and l thanked the Muslim community for understanding this.

”l commend the Imams especially and welcome this as another example of the spirit of sacrifice and discipline required to protect the community during dangerous periods.

”I appeal to the Muslim community to keep hope alive, to continue to practice compliance with health guidelines and not to relent in prayers for an end to the disruptions caused by COVID-19,” he said.

El-Rufa’i appealed also to all communities in the state to uphold peace and harmony.

 He added that all residents must observe social distancing, practice regular hand washing with soap and water, and avoid large gatherings to protect everyone from COVID-19.

The governor said that all residents must continue to comply with the terms of the quarantine orders that are enforce in the state.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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