CROSS River State government has threatened to seal off the premises of any church that has a membership of more than five people this Sunday as part of a robust drive to enforce the social isolation laws introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus.
In the main, Nigeria has been spared the worst effects of the global pandemic as the country has only recorded 65 affected people with just one death. However, the government has taken several measures to prevent its spread, including the shutting of all Nigeria’s five international airports, closing the country’s borders and receiving medical equipment from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.
As part of the measures to combat the spread of the virus, the Nigerian government has asked churches and mosques to shut down. However, many of them have defied the order and have been operating as usual with the risk of spreading the virus to the members of their congregations.
Reverend Father Bob Etta, the senior special adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on religious matters, said that a task force has been set up and would be going round to monitor compliance on Sunday. He reminded all ecclesiastical leaders about the governor’s directives on Covid-19 and in the adoption of the directive by the Cross River State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Reverend Edu said: “A Task force will be going round the State to monitor compliance. Any church caught will be sealed.”
“All religious gathering with more than five persons are suspended in Cross River State. As religious leaders, it is our responsibility to protect the lives of our followers, so let’s demonstrate that commitment this Sunday.
“Although our doors are closed, our hearts are with God and families are encouraged to hold their devotions at homes and pray that God save us from the impending doom. As a People of faith, let’s storm the heavens with our prayers. May God hear us, amen.”