Muslim faithful across the country on Friday joined others across the world to observe the Eid-el Kabir celebration with prayers in various mosques.
Our correspondents, who went round some popular mosques in Bauchi, Katsina, Yobe and Borno states, observed that several worshippers clustered together in their numbers to pray in violation of the COVID-19 protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. In Bauchi, for example, most worshippers who gathered outside the Bauchi Central Mosque did not wear face masks, while they also freely exchanged pleasantries.
However, inside the Bauchi Central Mosque where the governor, Bala Mohammed, top government functionaries, the Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rulwan Adamu and other dignitaries prayed, the NCDC protocols were strictly adhered to.
The case was different outside the Bauchi Central Mosque as these protocols were not observed. Most of the worshippers had no face masks; only a few of them were seen wearing them.
Also, in Katsina, worshippers trooped to the various Eid praying grounds in the state as early as 7am.
The places where Eid prayers were held included GRA Praying Ground, Shinkafi Praying Ground, Banu Commassie Praying Ground, Umaru Musa University Praying Ground, Filin ATC Praying Ground, Modoji Praying Ground and Dutsin Safe Praying Ground.
It was observed that only a few among the worshippers put on face masks even as social distancing protocols were not observed.
The state governor, Aminu Masari, joined other Muslims to observe the prayers at Dan Fodio Eid Praying Ground in Modoji while the Emir of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumin Kabir, prayed at the Kofar Kuga Eid Praying Ground.
The Eid-el-Kabir celebration was observed with a heavy presence of security on the highways and at the prayer grounds in Maiduguri and Damaturu, the capital cities of Borno and Yobe states respectively.
One of our correspondents observed that there was no observance of the social distancing rule as thousands of worshippers crowded to observe the three Raka’at prayers.
In Borno State, the Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, alongside his predecessor, Senator Kashim Shettima, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Garbai Elkanami and other top government officials worshipped at the expansive Ramat Square in Maiduguri.
In Yobe State, Governor Mai-Mala Buni was joined by his deputy, Idi-Barde Gubana; the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Ahmed Mirwa; and other top government officials with thousands of worshippers at the Central Mosque Damaturu.
Security operatives were on high alert with the Nigerian Air Force jets seen hovering around Damaturu.
Meanwhile, in Gombe State, at the Eid prayer which took place at the Central Jumma’at Mosque, Emir’s Palace, there was the observance of physical distancing around the prayer spaces.
Also in Ibadan, Oyo State, prayers were held in all the Eid praying grounds with adherence to the COVID-19 preventive measures.
Among the Eid praying grounds visited by one of our correspondents were at Agodi Gate area, Alqudus, Akingbile Olulana, Moniya, Apena Community, Apata and Alegongo.