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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Thursday ordered reopening of praying grounds for Muslims in the state.

He said that Muslim praying grounds across the state will be opened for the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir prayers.

He however, warned that Muslim faithful must ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols in the state.

Makinde in a statement made available to DAILY POST by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said that it has become imperative for the sake of public health and wellbeing of all worshipers that the Eid prayers are conducted in strict compliance with the guidelines on prevention of COVID-19.

He urged leadership of each praying ground in the state to ensure availability of handwashing points and compulsory use of nose masks.

“As the Muslim Ummah prepare to undertake this year’s Eid-el-Kabir prayers, the Government of Oyo State wishes to advert Islamic clerics and leaders to the need to maintain strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols, especially the social distancing rule.

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“The Eid Praying Grounds across the state have, upon the directive of the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, been opened to Muslims for the purpose of the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir prayers.

“His Excellency reckons that prayers are important to overcome the challenges that presently assail us, especially the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, just like many aspects of our lives that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be an adjustment to Eid prayer gatherings. There is the need to ensure that not more than 25 per cent of worshippers are allowed at every instance in order to ensure compliance with the social distancing rule.

“Similarly, let it also be noted that no worshipper should be allowed into the praying ground without face masks and readiness to wash hands with soap and water in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

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“To further ensure safety and ownership of the Covid-19 preventive measures, the Emergency Operations Centre, EOC, of the Oyo State Covid-19 Task Force, has sent advisories to major markets and shopping malls, on the need for strict compliance with Covid-19 preventive protocols during this festive period and beyond.

“The EOC has also contacted all the health educators in the 33 LGAs in the state with a mandate to reach out to possible places of gathering and advise on the need for responsible behaviour, just as the centre has revved up risk communication advisories on radio.

“In addition to these measures, however, all clerics and leaders are expected to take on the responsibility of guiding our people to pay attention to even the minutest detail on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during this festivity.

“The need to follow all laid down guidelines on COVID-19 prevention must be emphasized to every resident of the state at this period, in accordance with the Own Your Action initiative of the State’s COVID-19 Task Force, which emphasizes that our wellbeing and safety are individual responsibilities.

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“The Oyo State government wishes the Muslim Ummah a peaceful Eid-el-Kabir, filled with the blessings and benevolence of Almighty Allah.”

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Nigerian govt spends N14bn on N-Power, school feeding in Jigawa

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The Federal Government has, in 16 cycles’ disbursement, spent N9.074billion on Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and another N5.178billion on School Feeding Programme from inception in 2017 till date in Jigawa.

Bala Chamo, the state Coordinator, Social Investments Programme (SIP), who made this known at a news conference in Dutse on Saturday said the N9.074 billion was spent in nine local government areas.

The state coordinator also said that arrangement had been concluded for the payment of the newly enrolled beneficiaries of N-Power programme from the remaining 18 local government areas of the state.

He expressed optimism that the newly enrolled beneficiaries should be receiving credit alerts for their first payment from Tuesday, Aug. 11.

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Mr Chamo said that the N9.074 billion was used as payment of stipends in 29 months to 728,367 beneficiaries from its inception in August/September 2017 up till March/April 2020.

On School Feeding Programme, he said N6 billion had been spent to provide lunch meals to pupils in primary classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 pupils in the state.

He said this was funded jointly by both the Federal and the state government.

Mr Chamo said N5.178 billion was released by the Federal Government for the feeding of pupils in primaries 1, 2 and 3 classes for 168 days from its inception on Nov. 27, 2017.

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The state coordinator added that the state government also supported the Federal Government by providing N878million for the feeding of pupils in primaries 4,5 and 6 classes which brought the total to N6billion.

Mr Chamo said 441,057 pupils were fed in primaries 1,2 and 3 classes from November 2017 to July 2019.

He said that 434,995 pupils of primaries 4, 5 and 6 classes were also fed during the period under review across the 27 local government areas, adding that the pupils fed combined were from no less than 2,000 schools.

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Obaaseki vs Ize-Iyamu: INEC speaks on postponing Edo election

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has announced that it will not postpone the date of the Edo State governorship election slated for September 19.

National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said the commission will not be disturbed by the threats of violence by political parties and candidates.

He added that candidates and parties participating in the election have been warned against compromising the electoral process by inviting violence, the Nation reports.

Festus said, “INEC has warned that it will halt the electoral process if the parties resort to violence.

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“The commission has met over the matter and warned that we will not allow any act of violence. But that does not mean that we are shifting the poll”.

The Commission warned that it may have to summon the candidates and their parties for immediate meeting.

“We are carefully monitoring what is happening in Edo State and also in Ondo. We will be meeting on Sunday and given the urgency of the situation in Edo State, we may have to immediately call a meeting of not just the candidates and the political parties but also the Campaign Councils,” he added.

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