Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari explained why he observes Juma’at prayers at the Presidential Villa, and not the National Mosque in Abuja.
He said it was to prevent the constraints and inconveniences presidential movements may cause to the people.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement said Buhari was responding to a request by a delegation of Imams and Senior Islamic scholars from all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory led by Prof. Shehu Ahmad Galadanci, the Murshid, National Mosque.
The Islamic scholars were at State House to congratulate Buhari on his overwhelming victory at the February 23 presidential election.
According to Buhari, “Regarding your request for me to be attending Juma’at prayers in the National Mosque, I implore you to note that I personally started observing Juma’at 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.”
The President 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 he would leave no stone unturned in addressing the security challenges facing the country.
Congratulating the president on his re-election, Galadanci noted that the victory demonstrates 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.
Highlighting noteworthy achievements of the Buhari administration in the area of security, agriculture and the fight against corruption, the leader of the group urged the president to remain focused while praying Allah to continue to give him the power to “annihilate and wipe off” pockets of terrorists in the country.