By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
Imams in about 350 Jumma’at Mosques in Maiduguri, Jere, Biu and other parts of Borno State on Friday led thousands of worshipers to offer special prayers for the speedy and full recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari following 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 as those who were displaced by insurgency 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.
PRESIDENT BUHARI IN LONDON: PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI RECEIVES APC CHIEFTAINS, SENATOR BOLA AHMED TINUBU AND CHIEF BISI AKANDE, AT ABUJA HOUSE IN LONDON ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2017
The prayers followed a request conveyed by the who communicated with all Imams of functional Jumma’at Mosques through their different forums
The Chief Imam of Borno State, Imam Laisu Ibrahim Ahmed mobilized fellow Imams for the special prayers based on letters addressed to him and the Borno State chairman of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop William Naga by 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’. The letters asked the Chief Imam to communicate the request to Imams of all Jumma’at (Friday) Mosques while the CAN president would communicate with Pastors for similar prayers in all churches across the State at the 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.
According to the commissioner, “Last night, Governor Kashim Shettima directed me to write and sign letters requesting the Chief Imam and the CAN 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 help in communicating with Imams and Pastors of all Jumma’at Mosques and all churches where Sunday services are held.
The letters were delivered early today (yesterday) 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 displaced and places like Gwoza, Konduga, Monguno, Damboa, Dikwa, Askira, Kaga and many other parts of the State where residents have returned after liberation of their communities by the military under President Buhari’s administration.
Prayers were offered in IDP camps where Jumma’at services took place. 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.