The Ogun State Governor,Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Friday announced the lifting of restrictions on weekends in the state and confirmed the reopening of churches and mosques after over five months of COVID-19 lockdown.
He,however, warned that any worship centre that violated the safety measures to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus would be shut down, as task force for that purpose was on ground.
He said the decision to reopen places of worship was made in line with agreement reached by the committee set up to develop guidelines for reopening of the religious centres.
The committee, the governor added includes the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria; the League of Imams and Alfas and Government representatives.
Abiodun also said the JSS 3 pupils would resume on Monday August 17, 2020.
He said, “Let me say that now that our worship centres are open for activities, the restrictions on weekends are lifted, but the limitation on social gatherings not exceeding 20 people at any place at the same time is still very much in force.
He also said the dusk-to-dawn curfew was still in place.
He said, “Other measures still in place include:
Observation of dusk-to-dawn curfew as directed by the Presidential Task Force i.e. between 10.00pm and 4.00am daily.
“We are therefore appealing to our people, particularly our religious leaders to ensure that they adhere strictly to the protocols as have been agreed upon. We all agreed on these protocols to open the worship centres for many reasons.
“Let me say that our Task Force is already on ground and is moving about to ensure compliance.
“And, if perchance we discover that any of our religious centre is not complying or adhering to the laid down protocols, we will not hesitate to close down the centre.
“I want to repeat just like I mentioned in the last COVID-19 update that the purpose is not to open for rowdy ceremonies which can promote community transmission of COVID-19 and or any other communicable diseases that could lead to avoidable death.
“We will rather want our worship centres to be venues of solemnisation of matrimonies; christening of new-borns; venues of thanksgivings and praise-worship to the greatness of God.
“This explains our cautious, consultative, inclusive, and collaborative approach to reopening of our worship centres.”
He added, “On education, we thank God that our SS3 students resumed classes on Tuesday, 4th August, 2020.
The two-week revision period to prepare the SS3 students ends today and we are all looking forward to the commencement of the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination on Monday, 17th August, 2020.
“We want to enjoin all stakeholders, particularly the school administrators, teachers, parents, guardians to ensure that the safety of the children is paramount and all laid down COVID-19 Protocols are adhered to.”
He said congregants are expected to put on their face masks, maintain social/physical distancing, and worship centres are equally expected to provide safety measures such as sanitizers, running water and isolation rooms and health personnel to carry out checks at the entrance among other protocols.