President Muhammadu Buhari has said his decision to observe Juma’at 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.
The president was responding to a request by a delegation of Imams and Senior Islamic Scholars from states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory led by Shehu Galadanci, the Murshid, of National Mosque.
Traffic usually grounds to a halt in the capital city whenever the Nigerian president’s motorcade moves. This has been widely criticised by residents who have to wait endlessly when such movements occur.
‘‘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 told the Islamic scholars who were at State House to congratulate him on his victory at the February 23 presidential election.
Mr Buhari according to a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, welcomed the counsel of the Islamic scholars on the teachings of the Prophet about the obligations of leaders towards their subjects, and vice-versa.
The president thanked them for their prayers and support for his administration, assuring that the administration will do everything possible in addressing the security challenges facing the country.
Congratulating the president on his re-election, Mr Galadanci, a professor, 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.