By John Shiklam
The Kaduna State government has arrested two clerics for conducting Friday congregational prayers in two communities of Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state despite the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state.
The state government on Wednesday imposed curfew on the state as one of the steps against the spread of the coronavirus.
Announcing the arrest of the clerics in a statement on Saturday in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, said the clerics acted in violation of the curfew imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He said the culprits are “Malam Aminu Umar Usman and Malam Umar Shangel from Malali and Unguwan Kanawa areas respectively”.
Aruwan said their conduct violated government orders as well as the advice given by leaders of faith, adding that the clerics will be prosecuted accordingly.
He reiterated that government expects compliance with the quarantine orders, which imposed curfew on the entire state ‘’and will continue to enforce them”.
He warned that ‘’security agencies will enforce government orders and uphold the 24-hour curfew, until further notice”, adding that those who seek to defy the directives stand the risk of arrest and prosecution.
‘’It should be clear that the inconveniences associated with the preventive measures, while regretted, are nothing compared to the suffering and deaths that coronavirus will cause if it is allowed to get here and spread,’’ he said.
The statement however commended ‘’citizens that are abiding by the terms of the quarantine imposed on the state as a preventive measure against Covid-19”.
‘’The state government is especially grateful to religious and community leaders who have joined in appealing to the public to abide by public health warnings.
‘’However, government has also sadly noted that certain individuals, including clerics, are violating the restriction of movement, large gatherings, trading and congregational prayers,’’ he said.
Aruwan said such violations are ‘’patently illegal and irresponsible conduct at a time that requires sober and rational conduct to protect our people from coronavirus’’.