Offa residents celebrate low key, avoid praying grounds

Offa residents celebrate low key, avoid praying grounds

Residents of Offa in Ilorin are having a low key Eid-el Fitri celebration to mark the end of the Ramadan as they desert praying grounds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who went round the town on Sunday observed that the bubbling and fanfare that usually characterise the Eid-el Fitri celebration were absent.

The praying grounds that were normally besieged by residents to observe the two “rakah’’ or voluntary prayers were under lock and key as there was no sign of worshippers.

NAN reports that there are seven Eid praying grounds apart from the major praying ground attended by the Chief Imam of Offa and Olofa of Offa. All were deserted.

People were, however, seen going about their daily activities with few people wearing face masks as directed by the state government.

Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN, said that the singular act of not observing congregational Eid prayer had made the celebration short of its usual euphoria.

Taiwo Adeniran said that he had never witnessed a low key Sallah of this nature since he was born.

He said that he found it difficult to believe that there would be Sallah with no congregational Eid prayers.

Mariam Asekun said though she was thankful for the gift of life although “this is an abnormal Eid celebration”.

“I have been answering questions from my kids as to why we will observe Eid prayers at home as against the normal practice of congregating.

”I just pray there is an end to this before Eid-l Kabir celebration,” Mrs Asekun said.

On her part, Fatima Olagoke said the low key celebration saved her the cost of buying Sallah clothes for her kids since there were no congregational Eid prayers.

NAN reports that the state government had eased lockdown in the state but banned all forms of religious or social gathering to control the spread of the pandemic.

According to the state government, as at 11 p.m. on May 23, Kwara has 45 active cases, 34 discharged and one death from COVID-19. (NAN)