Governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi, has succumbed to pleas from the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to lift the ban on religious activities in the state with effect from May 15.
In a statement on Friday by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Uchenna Orji, listed guidelines that must be strictly observed.
“The re-opening of the worship centres must, however, be under strict observance of the state laws and must be once a week.
“All churches are to observe their services only on Sundays from 9.am to 11.am.
“Seventh Day Adventists and Muslim faithful are to observe their services on Saturdays and Fridays, respectively and also from 9.am to 11.am.
“No religious centre shall permit more than 50 people and worshippers must observe a minimum of two metres social distancing from one another,” he said.
“No religious service is allowed to hold any other day than the days specified herein and which must be in strict observance of all COVID-19 laws and regulations.
“The CAN has a duty to shut any religious gathering and arrest the principal of the worship centre, which violates this order.
“The government requests all religious bodies in the state to use this window to create awareness among members on the protocols, policies, laws and regulations regarding COVID-19 as well as pray for the state and Nigeria,” the statement said.
Orji also urged religious leaders to use the opportunity to advise members on the need for aggressive participation in agriculture and other lawful means of livelihood.
“The CAN leadership and anti-COVID-19 committee on religious centres, are requested to mount strict monitoring of all religious centres in the state and ensure strict compliance and discipline,” he said.