Churches in Ebonyi State held their normal Sunday services in flagrant disregard to government’s directives banning gatherings of more than 50 persons.
The state government had issued a health advisory on Thursday banning gatherings of not more than 50 persons in the state.
In the statement to that effect signed by Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Ugbala, the state government had said ‘every gathering of more than 50 persons in our religious worship centers are hereby prohibited’.
But on Sunday all the Churches in Abakaliki, the Capital of the state, opened their doors to worshippers who converged in large numbers.
Churches like the Catholic church held their usual multiple services to accommodate their large followership.
Some of the churches include: Winners Chapel, Redeemed Church, Catholic Church, Anglican Church, and Christ Embassy.
It was however gathered that most of the Churches deployed water and soap as well as sanitizers at the entrances to the Churches for use by their members before entering the church, in line with the state government directives.
Efforts to speak to Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Fr Abraham Nwali were not successful because he did not respond to calls and messages sent to him.
Meanwhile, it was observed that the turnout in church reduced as some of the worshippers decided to stay at home in compliance to the medical advisory issued by the government.
A resident, Mr James Okenna who spoke to our Correspondent said he decided not to go to church today so as not to risk his live and that of his family.
He wondered why Churches failed to obey the directives despite what happened in other countries who ignored such advise
“In Korea 80 percent of those diagnosed with the virus got it from one church which ignored the advisory. In Iran virus spreads gast because the people kept going to mosque”.
“The Pope and the King of Saudi Arabia have shut down Vatican City and Mecca, so why are we in. Nigerian being more religious than these Heads of these two religions?”, he queried.
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