Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Ulama Forum on COVID-19 has asked the government to take measures that will make it easy for people to comply with the guidelines, protocols and regulations on preventing the spread of the pandemic in the country.
The group also advised the Nigerian authorities to closely and effectively monitor developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and review their plans and strategies accordingly.
This, the Ulama added, will assist in modifying the government’s stand, guidelines and protocols on how to mitigate its spread in accordance with the situation and peculiarities of particular communities and localities.
In a communique issued at the end of an online discussions on Shari’ah position on COVID-19, the group, a collaborative forum consisting of Muslim scholars, expert medical personnel, academics, researchers and other professionals along with leaders of Muslim organisations, urged the the government to always contact and seek advice from Ulama.
The advice, the forum stated, will help to understand the provisions of Shari’ah on issues whenever regulations and guidelines, including protocols that affect religious practices are going to be introduced, just like they always contact public health and other experts in their fields.
The Ulama Forum on COVID-19 urged the authorities to: “Take measures that will make it easy for people to comply with the guidelines/ protocols and regulations on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“Properly train security agents on how to assist people in understanding the guidelines and regulations, while encouraging them to comply without undue intimidation and harassment.”
The group also asked government to give opportunities for scholars, religious and community leaders to utilize traditional media and other outlets to mobilize people on the dangers of COVID-19, important safety measures and the need for compliance with expert guidelines and cooperate with authorities to overcome the pandemic.
The forum added that the influence of Ulama and community leaders in this regard by far outweighed any other group utilized for the purpose.