Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, two states in the country have damned COVID-19 and again flung open places of worship in their states.
Bauchi and Cross River Governments have lifted the ban on all religious gatherings earlier placed on the states.
A press release signed by Christian Ita, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade thanked the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Pastors, Christians of various denominations, and the entire Muslim community for their support and cooperation during the period of suspension of public worship in the state in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
In the release entitled: RESUMPTION OF PUBLIC WORSHIP, Ayade acknowledged the understanding and cooperation of religious leaders contributed immensely in keeping our State Coronavirus Free thus far.
Conscious of the spiritual economy, and in response to appeals by religious leaders in the state, the Governor ordered suspension and lifting of public worship in the state with effect from Sunday, May 24. 2020.
“Consequently, starting from Sunday, May 24, 2020, church services are permitted but should be limited to the sitting capacity of the Church. The same applies to the Mosques, the use of a nose mask is compulsory for all worshipers.
“Churches and Mosques should provide buckets for hand washing, or sanitizers. Churches and Mosques are advised to strictly keep to the above instructions. The enforcement team will still go around to check compliance,” the release added.
Also, Governor Bala Mohammed, who announced the lifting of the ban during a stakeholders’ meeting with traditional and religious leaders held at the Command Guest House, Bauchi on Wednesday, said effective Thursday, Friday, and Sunday religious services can hold in the state.
Mohammed said his decision to lift the ban was based on the successes recorded by his administration in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
He said, “Judging from all I have seen, we want to look at it comprehensively to see how we can give a breathing space for our people. Allah has made it possible for this disease to nosedive and today, we have the least number from those in the hospitals and have been discharged.
“The state government has suspended the total lockdown (in Katagum, Zaki, and Giade areas of the state) and partial lockdown from Thursday, May 21st, 2020 in the state once it is agreed by all parties.
“Easing of the lockdown will be gradual with the lifting of the ban on Juma’at prayers and Church services on the condition that Imams and Clergies are mandated to ensure full compliance to regulation put in place to enable full re-opening of worship centers.”