Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has urged Muslims in Nigeria to offer prayers for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, including the defeat of Boko Haram and its sponsors, as the Islamic faithful observe night supplications in the last days of the Ramadan fast.
Zulum in a statement released Thursday evening to reporters in Maiduguri by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, said the majority of Muslims will mostly focus on prayers against the novel coronavirus during the night prayers (Tahajjud) of the last ten days of the Ramadan fast.
“It is expected and rightly so, that in these last ten days of the glorious Ramadan, majority of fellow Muslims all over the world are likely to focus their minds on seeking Allah’s intervention for an end to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic is “one of the most severe threats to human existence” and a world plague. He said he expects all Muslims to pray for its end but also appealed that prayers should pray against Boko Haram insurgents and their collaborators.
“I will like to appeal to Muslims in Nigeria, particularly those of us in Borno State and the rest of the northeast, not to forget the murderous activities of Boko Haram,” he stressed.
He said the northeast was confronted with two viruses, namely Boko Haram and COVID-19, both of he characterised as equally lethal.
“Therefore, our late-night supplication should have twin-focus: prayers against coronavirus and prayers against Boko Haram, their sponsors and those who intentionally support them,” the governor said.
Muslims dedicate the last ten days of the Ramadan fast to offer special prayers at night.
Borno, which has been troubled for over a decade by Boko Haram violence, has recorded 188 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with 21 deaths since April 19th when the pandemic was first reported in Maiduguri, the state capital.