Partial compliance with rules as churches reopen in FCT, Osun, Kwara, Imo

Christians in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some other parts of the country on Sunday trooped out for worship at churches.

This followed the lifting of ban on worship centres across the country by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

But there were mixed reactions to the reopening of the worship centres across the country.

While many worshippers praised the government for the action, others decried their inability to feel free during service.

In a church in Abuja, some children were seen sitting on the floor without face masks, though they were said to have washed their hands before entering the worship centre.

It was not clear last night who cleared them for the service without giving them face masks.

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) hailed the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other church leaders for ensuring compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines for religious organisations.

Chairman of FCT Ministerial Task Team on Enforcement of COVID-19 Restrictions, Mr Ikharo Attah, spoke when he led the team on an inspection of some churches to ensure compliance.

The team was at the First Baptist Church on Gimbiya Street in Area 11, ECWA Church in Maitama, and at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Maitama, Abuja, where it met with Bishop Anselm Umoren.

Many churches in Osun State on Sunday witnessed low turnout but compiled with the guidelines given by the state government to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, last Wednesday, lifted the ban on religious gatherings and asked worshippers to obey the guidelines.

Our correspondent monitored services at Living Faith Church, Oke-Onitea; All Saints Church, Balogun Agoro; Grace Baptist Church, Odi-Olowo; St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, all in Osogbo.

At Living Faith Church, Osogbo, an official, who pleaded not to be named, said: “In the first service today, we had about 543 worshippers and 479 in the second service. I believe it’s because aged people and children that did not attend our services.”

In Kwara State, many churches held services and adhered to Federal Government’s safety protocols on COVID-19.

Those in Ilorin, the state capital, complied with major protocols, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Implementation Compliance Committee/Task Force said.

The Imo COVID-19 Task Force on Sunday expressed satisfaction with level of compliance by some churches with the Coronavirus protocols in the state.

This, the task force said, included wearing of face masks, washing of hands and maintaining social distancing.

The Chairman of the task force, Prof. Maurice Iwu, spoke when he led his team to visit some churches in Owerri, the state capital, to ascertain level of compliance by worshippers to the coronavirus guidelines.

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