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President Muhammadu Buhari says his decision to observe the Jumaat prayers at the Presidential Villa and not the National Mosque in Abuja, is to prevent the constraints and inconveniences presidential movements may cause to the people.
A presidential spokesman Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the President disclosed this when he responded to a request by a delegation of Imams and Senior Islamic Scholars from all states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The delegation, led by Prof. Shehu Ahmad Galadanci, the Murshid, National Mosque, was at State House to congratulate the president on his overwhelming victory at the Feb. 23 presidential election.
The president said: ‘‘Regarding your request for me to be attending Jumaat prayers in the National Mosque, I implore you to note that I personally started observing Jumaat prayers in the State House in order to reduce hardships which people may pass through.
‘‘As you all know, Presidential movements require roadblocks and other attendant restrictions which could subject worshippers and other people to a lot of difficulties.’’
President Buhari welcomed the counsel of the Islamic scholars on the teachings of the Prophet about the obligations of leaders towards their subjects, and vice-versa.
He thanked them for their prayers and support for his administration, assuring that the administration would leave no stone unturned in addressing the security challenges facing the country.
While congratulating the President on his re-election, Galadanci had said that the victory demonstrated the desire of the majority of Nigerians to ensure the continuity of the administration to the Next Level.
He prayed that Almighty Allah would grant the President the ability to continue with the ‘‘excellent work’’ he is doing for the country.
Galadanci highlighted noteworthy achievements of the Buhari administration in the area of security, agriculture and the fight against corruption.
He urged the President to remain focused, while praying to Allah to continue to give him the power to ‘‘annihilate and wipe off’’ pockets of terrorists in the country.