Worried by the possible impact crossover services may have on the spread of COVID-19 in the FCT and loss of lives, the FCT Administration has sent a strong warning to religious bodies, particularly churches, to strictly abide by health protocols or have their worship centres shut.
Head, FCT COVID-19 Media and Enlightenment, Comrade Ikharo Attah issued this warning Wednesday while fielding questions from journalists at the FCTA Secretariat, Abuja.
According to him, the Administration would not sit by and watch a few residents endanger the lives of others by disobeying very simple rules they could easily comply with.
“We have taken orders from the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello and the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma to enforce compliance and we are working closely with the FCT Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman, Rev. Samson Jonah, and the CAN North Central Chairmen, Rev. Israel Akanji.
“In all that we do, we are also working with the Leagues of Imams and Ulamas and we have told all religious bodies which I believe they have also communicated that all centres of worship that will be èngaging in crossover night services must be COVID-19 protocol compliant.
“They should put on their face masks, have hand-wash points and keep physical distancing. The halls should not be extremely crowded.
“That means, worshippers are strongly advised to join the main programmes via online platforms and follow through. It is still the same God and creator that we are thinking that we have been able to crossover to next year. That is what we are advising everyone to be -COVID-19 compliant.” Comrade Ikharo said.
Commenting on those who may not comply, Ikharo said: “For those who are not going to comply, it is very simple. We are not going to jeopardise the lives of citizens.
“If anyone fails to comply, we are not going to fold our hands and watch the lives of residents jeopardised. We will bring them to Court and the centres where the events take place and there has been heavy contravention of COVID-19 guideline will be summarily shut down. We do not want to watch while people are dying”.
Ikharo, therefore, advised all religious centres not to spend a lot of time during services but keep to about two hours for the safety of their congregations.
Source: Voice of Nigeria