Islamic Forum urges Nigerians to sacrifice on trying time
By Usman Gwadabe
The outbreak of covid-19, popularly known as coronavirus, has brought global economy on its knees as countries fight to keep their citizens alive.
“The deadly disease has affected over 700,000 people across the world and killed thousands.
“The World Health Organization has declared the virus a global health emergency and rated covid-19’s global risk of spread and impact as “very high,” the most serious designation the organization gives.
“Presently there are over 100 identified cases in Nigeria and this figure has continued to increase by the day.
A statement signed and issued by National Chairman and former Military Governor of Kano State, Brig Gen Ahmad Muhammad Daku (rtd), said: “The Islamic Forum of Nigeria is convinced that there are no specific vaccines or treatments for covid-19, at this time. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments to contain and stop the transmission, as has been shown in China and some other countries.
“Preventive measures are in place to drastically scale up responses on the virus.
“These include, restricting travelling, limiting exposure to the environment, constant hand wash by all, cleanliness and relevant drugs.
“Others are stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical attention and follow the directions of health authority.
“The global economy has also been hit by the downturn of economic fundamentals resulting in quantum losses in revenue as well as restructuring of fiscal budgets.
“Drop in oil price, less demand in energy, losses of jobs, restrictions on traveling, limiting exposure to environment, social interactions etc have negatively affected all streams of development.
“In his nationwide broadcast, the President outlined palliatives by the government that include a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans.
“A similar moratorium has been extended to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank as well as facilitating the negotiation of on-lending facilities with development financial partners.
“For the most vulnerable in the society, the President has directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately.
“While the internally displaced persons will receive two months of food ratios, these, the Forum believes, are strategic moves to cushion the pains of Nigerians.
“Sequel to that the Central Bank of Nigeria has also reviewed its intervention strategies and initiated new programs to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 on both individuals, SMEs and corporate organizations.
“The outpouring of support by wealthy men and organisations to support the fight against the virus in Nigeria is heartwarming.
“The Senate pronouncement and other government appointees to donate part of their monthly salaries are indeed positive gestures.
“However, organizations are advised to ensure they sensitise and educate their workers on compliance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines and provide requisite facilities and supplies for the prevention of the disease in line with extant guidelines of the NCDC. These efforts must be guided, systematic and professional.
“The Islamic Forum of Nigeria is not unaware that efforts by both the Federal and State Governments to contain the spread of the deadly virus will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens, but it’s a period of sacrifices that must be done as a matter of life and death.
“The forum calls on the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to fulfill its promise of establishing testing centres to conduct test, provide adequate ventilators and medical supplies at least one in every geo-political regions.
“Finally, the Muslim Ummah are called to demonstrate understanding and support as no action is directed towards any harm.
“We urge the authorities concerned to judiciously use the donations received by spirited individuals and organizations, and any erring actions on disbursement and accountability should be punished according to the law of the land.
“As we intensify prayers for Allah’s intervention, we should not forget our valued tradition to support those who are vulnerable within the communities by helping them with whatever possible to manage their affairs,” the statement concluded.