The former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has urged Muslims to make good use of the Ramadan by praying for the country to recover from the COVID-19 scourge.

In his message to mark the beginning of Ramadan, the former Vice President urged Muslims to obey all safety guidelines laid down by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, while observing the religious exercise.

The message he personally signed reads:

“My message to Muslim Ummah on commencement of 2020 Ramadan.

“This has not been the best of times for us as a people and as a nation.

Ditto for the global community.

“The novel coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan in China has spread to no less than 210 countries and territories as at today.

“Sadly Nigeria has not been spared this scourge.

Since our first incident case in February, we have seen the figure rise to 981 with 31 deaths as at April 23, 2020.

The good news however is that thanks to our heroic healthcare workers, 197 of the cases have recovered.”

The former Vice President called on Muslims and Nigerians in general to make sacrifices in a bid to tackle the virus.

Atiku lamented that social lives of Nigerians have been disrupted by the lockdown order.

He said: “But we’ve had to make sacrifices, and much more is required of us in the days ahead if we must defeat the scourge of this plague.

Our social life has been disrupted by the lockdown of sections of our country and the practice of social distancing.

“In the last three weeks, we have been unable to gather to fulfil our religious obligations to worship the Almighty Allah.

The lesser hajj has been suspended.

“My dear Muslim Ummah, this is the reality as we commence this year’s Ramadan.

“I urge the Muslim faithful to pray for the country at this difficult moment when the #COVID19 plague has paralysed every aspect of our social lives.

“This is a moment of trial because for the first time in our recent history, we have never seen anything like this in terms of limitations on the activities we once performed without hindrance.

“Above all, it is imperative that we observe all guidelines of @NCDCgov aimed at stemming the spread of the virus, much so as it is the teaching of the Noble Prophet Mohammed (SWT) during plague seasons such as this.

“I supplicate to Allah to answer our prayers and help us overcome this extraordinary challenge soonest, and put our country on the path of renewal and prosperity. RamadanMubarak.”