Prof. Nasir AbdusSalam, the Chief Imam of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin), said on Thursday that all msoques within the institution would remain close.
He explained that time was not ripe yet for the reopening of the worship centres of the Muslim community in the university.
The development was in reaction to the Federal Government’s directive on the gradual reopening of places of worship in the country.
AbdusSalam, who made this known while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin, said that the position came “after consultations with relevant stakeholders in the community on June 3, 2020”.
The Chief Imam said: “On 12 Shawwal 1441AH (3/6/2020), I held a wide consultation with critical Muslim stakeholders, including members of Majlisul ‘Ulamaau, Unilorin Muslim Community (UMC), and the University authority on the recent pronouncement of gradual re-opening of worship centres nationwide.
“The contributions have enabled us to feel the pulse of stakeholders on the practical appraisal of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in our University environment viz-a-viz our religious obligations.
“The coast is not yet clear enough to reopen our Mosques as an enlightened and academic community,” he said.
AbdusSalam lamented the daily increase in the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the state.
He reiterated that the Kwara State Government COVID-19 Response Committee has advised that it would be safer to keep the worship centres closed for now in the interest of individual worshippers and larger public health and safety.
He said that: “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) is still appraising the Federal Government’s release and yet to make categorical statement and guidelines for implementation.”
He however said that the Unilorin stakeholders also believed that there was the need to exercise caution and not to be careless with the lives of worshippers.
“Safety and sanitary materials should be provided before reopening of Masaajid (Mosques), and provision for regular fumigation after salaat must be made,” he added.
The Chief Imam, who however, reiterated that all Mosques on the campus should therefore remain closed until further notice, advised all Imams on campus to join in the enforcement. (NAN)