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The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has called on Muslims in the country to rally support for the Federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination programme that is targeted at stemming the spread of the virus.
Oyetola made the call on Saturday while speaking at the 26th Annual Ramadan Lecture of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Abuja Branch.
This is even as the Guest Lecturer, Sheikh Muhydeen Ajani Bello, noted that there was nothing against Islam about the vaccination adding that Allah enjoined Muslims to obey Him, the Prophet and those in authority.
Represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Abdullah Adeyanju Binuyo, the governor stressed that there was a need for religious leaders and informed followers to correct whatever misconceptions surrounded the vaccination against COVID-19 and to complement the government’s efforts at combating the virus.
“Vaccination sustains life while Coronavirus threatens it. Winning the war against Coronavirus is a collective responsibility. We must, as Nigerians, regardless of our religious and political affiliations, unite to fight the virus that is threatening our lives, our economy and all we labour and stand for as a people.
“We must see Coronavirus as our common enemy; it poses a threat to our lives and livelihood. We put ourselves, our families and livelihood in jeopardy when we pander to ignorance and play politics with a life-snuffing virus,” the governor stated.
Oyetola disclosed that his administration is doing everything possible to halt the spread of the virus through consistent advocacy on the need for citizens not to only present themselves for vaccination but also to continue to follow all the safety protocols even after vaccination.
The governor who was the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Osun after frontline workers, commended the people of the state for their response to the vaccination exercise since it began in Osun.
“As a demonstration of leadership, just as I was the first Osun citizen to present myself for the voluntary COVID-19 test after the pandemic broke out last year, I received my first jab of the vaccine on March 10, less than 24 hours after they were delivered to us.
“I am happy to report that since then till date, the response from residents and citizens of Osun has been tremendous. I, therefore, commend our people so far for their understanding and support for our administration in our efforts towards curbing the spread of the virus.”
Oyetola, who recalled that Muslims could not gather during last year’s Ramadan for any public lecture or observe prayers at mosques, thanked God for easing the situation this year.
He however urged the Muslim faithful to always adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols while performing their religious obligations in public places.
“Last year, we could not gather during Ramadan, let alone hold any public Lecture or even observe our Taraweeh in congregation at our respective mosques. But we thank God for easing it for us this year.
“However, while worshipping during this period, we must take cognisance of the fact that Coronavirus is still here with us. I, therefore, appeal to us to continue to observe safety protocols by maintaining social distance at our places of worship, use our nose masks and wash our hands with soap and water regularly. And where we cannot find soap and water, let’s make use of our hand sanitiser,” he added.
He also charged the Muslim faithful to take advantage of the month of Ramadan to intensify prayers for the continued peace, progress and development of Nigeria.
“I strongly believe that with passion, commitment, dedication and determination to do what is right at all times, and with fear of the Almighty Allah, I am optimistic that Nigeria shall rise again.”
Nectes Gospel Media reports that the theme of the lecture is, ‘Islamic Perspectives on COVID-19 Pandemic and Vaccination’.