Abuja – Sheikh Muhammad Khalid, the Chief Imam of Apo Legislator’s Quarter’s Jumat Mosque has cancelled the special i’tikaaf prayer normally observed by Muslims during the last 10 days of Ramadan in that Mosque.

I’tikaaf is a special prayer offered my Muslims during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

During that period, a Muslim is required to retire to the Mosque and remain in seclusion solely with the intention of offering prayers and supplication to Allah.

Khalid announced the cancellation of the prayer in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the move had become necessary following increased insecurity in the country.

He added that “everyone can testify to the fact that insecurity is becoming higher; bombings have become the order of the day in the North, especially in the North Eastern part of the country.

“We need to join hands with government to do whatever we can possibly do in our capability to tackle it headlong.

“However, it is a very difficult task to tackle because of the faceless nature of the Boko Haram members that have been terrorising Nigeria.’’

Khalid then urged other Imams not to allow the special prayer in their Mosques so as not to jeopardise the security of potential participants.

He said that allowing people to gather in the Mosque for the special prayer was not safe and called for attitudinal change by Nigerians in order to move the country forward.

He urged the Federal Government to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths to avoid restiveness, stressing that “providing employment for the youths will take them off the streets.

“Taking the youths off the streets will go a long in reducing crimes and criminality in the country.’’

The chief Imam said security was a collective responsibility, hence it should not be left in the hands of government alone.

He advised security agencies to intensify their intelligence gathering to enable them to overcome the activities of insurgency in the country.

He said “security agents should be able to know the flash points in the areas affected by insurgency and how to overpower them.

“Knowing the flashpoints will go a long way in making security agency’s task easier and more effective.’’ (NAN)

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