Amid a daily rise in infection rate of Coronavirus in Nigeria, some state governments have ordered relaxation of the two-week lockdown order and temporarily lifted ban on social gathering for Christians to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This decision, according to most of the state governments, is to allow the Christian faithful bask in the euphoria of the Easter festival and observe their religious obligations.
Some Nigerians have however described the announcement as a dangerous move especially at a time when Nigeria’s Coronavirus cases has risen to 305 with seven deaths recorded as at Friday, April 10.
Some of the states that have made this decision so far include Abia, Rivers, Ebonyi, Ondo and Kogi, Muslim News have learnt.
A statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barr. Chris Ezem said there would be unrestricted movement of people and vehicles within the state between the hours of 6am and 2pm during the three days (from Friday to Monday).
Although, the State has not recorded any case of Coronavirus, many Nigerians have described the declaration as a dangerous move if the situation is not properly handled.
But Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had earlier boasted that the state will not record any Coronavirus case because it was mentioned in the Bible.
The Secretary to the State government said worshippers are free to worship at their various churches and mosques, adding that they must however compulsorily observe some guidelines during the days of relaxation of the lockdown.
Nyesome Wike, governor of Rivers State, has also relaxed the lockdown order in the state for Christian faithfuls to observe their religious obligations during the Easter celebration.
Wike announced in a state broadcast that two days have been earmarked for the relaxation of the lockdown order.
He said all Muslims in the State can congregate in the mosque for Juma’ah service on Friday (yesterday) and Sunday 12, April for Christian faithfuls to observe the Easter period.
Rivers State currently has 2 cases of COVID-19
The Ebonyi state government has also lifted the ban on public gathering in view of the Easter celebration. David Umahi, governor of the state, permitted Church services for Easter Sunday between 8 a.m and 12 p.m.
The governor noted that worshippers must adhere to sanitary guidelines as spelt out by various health experts in the course of the service, adding that they are not to stay beyond the stipulated time.
Ebonyi State has no case of Coronavirus yet.
The Ondo State government has approved the request of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state to observe the Easter Sunday worship in various churches across the state.
The government said worshippers must however strictly adhere to sanitary guidelines and precautionary measures put in place earlier by the state.
Ondo State has recorded 2 cases of COVID-19
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has lifted the ban on religious gathering, directing that all normal worship and services be allowed in the state.
He however urged religious leaders to put in place preventive measures so as to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The state is yet to record any case of coronavirus.
Kogi has not recorded any case of coronavirus as at the time of filing this report on Saturday, April 11.