COVID-19: Ondo government relaxes ban for Easter church services

April 8, 2020

1.9 min readCategories: News

The Ondo State government has partially relaxed the ban on religious activities in the state to allow Christians in the state to hold Easter Sunday service.

The Nigerian Tribune reports that the special Easter service is to however hold between 7am and 12noon on 12th April, 2020 only.

The agreement was reached after an emergency meeting of the Christian Denominational leaders and the state government where it was resolved that members should continue with syndicated services in their houses after the Easter Sunday service.

In the communique signed by the state Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Rev Ayo Oladapo, the leaders agreed to monitor compliance, while they agreed “that each Pastor will be held responsible for violation of any of the decisions reached.”

The communique read: “The leaders appreciated the Governor for steps taken so far to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

“The leaders agreed to adhere to handwashing with soap, water and sanitisers. It was also agreed that social distancing will be maintained.

“We also agreed to break services to limit crowd; 20 people in a small Church building, 50 in a medium-size while big and cathedrals must maintain 3 congregants on a pew.

‘It was agreed that services will hold between 7 am and 12noon.

“It was agreed that only Easter Sunday service (12th April 2020) will be observed as agreed between the Governor and the Christian leaders.”

Confirming the development, the state Commissioner of information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, noted concerns expressed in many quarters in respect of the matter

He said: “Government deems it necessary to clarify that much as it appreciates public concern over this matter, there is no need for any misgivings.

“Accordingly, the state government has already communicated to the Ondo State Police Command, this concession granted CAN to, as it were, temporise and allow the celebration of Easter Sunday in churches.

“This is, however, without prejudice to all precautionary measures and guidelines earlier put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic as enunciated in Government’s earlier statements and as agreed to by the leadership of CAN.

“For emphasis, there will be no Easter Retreat (Good Friday Programmes) or the Jumat service gatherings on Friday or ‘Gallilee’ on Monday. The ban on all social, political and religious gatherings continues afterwards, until further notice.”

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