Business magnate and former gubernatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state, Dr. Olusola Ayandele, has joined Islamic faith adherents across the world in the celebrations of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir popularly called Odun Ileya in Yorubaland as he urged Muslims to intensify prayers to Allah on the quest to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic in no time.
In a special Eid message contained in a statement issued on Thursday by his Personal Assistant, Olusola Adeleke, the Ibarapa-born politician described this year’s festival as monumental in view of many challenges that confront human race over coronavirus spread and its attendant effects on socioeconomic activities of different strata of people globally.
“Eid-el-Kabir is a major universal festival of Muslims which also heralds the annual Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia. Nigerian Muslims and their brethren at home have never been found wanting in the festivities over the years. But the circumstances surrounding this year’s festival call for sobriety and deep reflection on the need to be more dedicated to the worship of Allah, service to humanity and care for the environment in which we all live.
“Meanwhile, Muslims at home as well as their counterparts from other faiths deserve special kudos for their uncommon show of courage and patience in the face of restrictions, deprivation and anxiety posed by the rampaging Covid-19. Since March this year, our collective resolve to wage war against the pandemic has resulted in the shut down of worship centres while we maintain social distancing and other protocols prescribed by WHO and NCDC.
“Another regrettable development has to do with the inability of several intending Muslim pilgrims from Nigeria and other parts of the world to make it to the Holy Land in Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj exercise. As faithful, we must accept this as an act of Allah and also pray Him to make it possible for those that were stopped this year and many others willing to undergo the religious rites next year while we are very optimistic about an imminent end to the pandemic while normalcy would then return to the global arena.
“Most importantly, we are glad to identify with all Muslims in Oyo state particularly our revered Chief Imams, Clerics, traditional rulers, leaders and members of Islamic organizations and societies on the occasion of this year’s Ileya. Also, we send our felicitation to all the leaders, members and supporters of our great Party (APC) in Ibarapa, Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomoso and Oke-Ogun geopolitical zones of the state.” Ayandele added.