IMAMS in about 350 Jumma’at Mosques in Maiduguri, Jere, Biu and other parts of Borno State, on Friday, led thousands of worshippers to offer special prayers for the speedy and full recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari, following a request by Governor Kashim Shettima.
The prayers were offered in appreciation of President Buhari’s commitment to the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency which resulted in the liberation of many communities and relative peace now being enjoyed by residents across the State.
There are 542 Jumma’at Mosques in Borno State, but about 350 were estimated to be operating due to the present state of populated towns like Bama and many others where Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are yet to return to liberated communities.
There are, however, Jumma’at Mosques in some of the IDP camps, with members of the forum of Jumma’at Imams leading fellow displaced persons from their communities.
The prayers were based on a request conveyed by the Chief Imam of Borno State, Imam Laisu Ibrahim Ahmed, to all Imams of functional Jumma’at Mosques through their different forums, which was a long standing procedure of communication between the Chief Imam and Imams of Jumma’at Mosques and other imams in the state.
The Chief Imam mobilised fellow Imams based on letters addressed to him and the Borno State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop William Naga, on the orders of Governor Kashim Shettima.
The state Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Mustapha Fannarambe, signed the two letters titled, “Request for Intensification of prayers for the complete recovery of Mr President’ requesting the Chief Imam to communicate the request to Imams of all Jumma’at (Friday) Mosques and the CAN to communicate with pastors for similar prayers in all churches across the state during next Sunday service.
The commissioner was mandated by Governor Shettima to monitor compliance with the request through interactions with the Chief Imam and CAN chairman.
“Last night, Governor Kashim Shettima directed me to write and sign letters requesting the Chief Imam and the CAN chairman to kindly request imams of all Jumma’at Mosques and leading pastors in all churches across Borno State to lead Muslim and Christian worshipers today (Friday) and coming Sunday, to intensify prayers for the quick and full recovery of our dear president, Muhammadu Buhari.
“We believe any good Nigerian living in Borno is already praying for the president. This is why we requested for the prayers to be intensified.
“The governor emphasized that I ensure the Chief Imam and CAN chairman communicate with imams and pastors of all Jumma’at Mosques and all churches were Sunday services are held.
“The letters were delivered early today (Friday) and I have been in touch with both leaders. I can assure you that the Chief Imam communicated the request to Imams of all the Jumma’at Mosques across Borno State.
“All the Imams belong to different forums based on their denominations and areas of residence while the Pastors are expected to be reached by the CAN chairman through a very efficient system.
“The prayers started today with Jumma’at Mosques and we have monitored some here in Maiduguri and Jere and I was informed there were similar prayers in other Jumma’at Mosques in Biu, Bayo, Shani, Kwaya-Kusar where residents were never internally displaced and places like Gwoza, Konduga, Monguno, Damboa, Dikwa, Askira, Kaga and many other parts of the state where residents have returned after the liberation of their communities by the military under President Buhari’s administration,” the statement read.
Prayers were offered in IDP camps were Jumma’at services take place because all the camps have citizens that include existing Imams of Jumma’at Mosques in different parts of the State affected by the insurgency. From our estimation, not less than 350 Jumma’at Mosques are currently functional out of 542 that we have across the State.
“I actually attended one of the Friday prayers in Maiduguri while Governor Shettima went to Bama with the visiting Minister of Environment.
“To us in Borno State, President Buhari means so much because we know how much we suffered before he became President and we know there is overwhelming difference between now and before and this is why Governor Shettima said we owe the President an obligation to prayer over his health and we owe our gallant military an obligation to pray for the health of their Commander In Chief, this is what Governor Shettima said to me last night and we have acted accordingly.
“We are now awaiting prayers in Churches on Sunday, we are sure it will be done by the garce of God and our President will be healthier than he ever was to conclude his victorious fight against Boko Haram insurgents which is our topmost priority in Borno State” the Commissioner said to journalists in Maiduguri on Friday afternoon.