By Victor Ogunje
The Ekiti State Government has shifted the reopening of worship centres across the state to August 14, contrary to July 14 earlier announced by Governor Kayode Fayemi.
In a statement on Friday by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, the government said the action was taken in view of the unpreparedness of church and mosque leaders to comply with the conditions stipulated for the reopening of the religious centres.
The statement said: “The latest communique of CAN is indicative of the fact that worship centres are not yet ready to comply with conditions stipulated as guidelines and conditions set out by the government for reopening of worship centres.
“In view of the foregoing, the state government has shifted the date for the reopening of worship centres to August 14, 2020 to give the worship centres enough time to meet the prescribed conditions for the reopening,” he said.
The commissioner said inasmuch as fumigation of religious centres remains a prerequisite for reopening, she added that such should not be done in contravention of the Ekiti State Environmental Health and Sanitation Law.
She stated that those within the ages of one and 12 and 65 and above are also exempted from attending any congregational programme in any religious centre because of their vulnerability.
According to Yaya-Kolade, “The churches are permitted to hold their programmes once in a week and should last for just two hours.”
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has said that it has no capacity of complying with Covid-19 protocols stipulated as conditions for reopening by government.
A statement issued by its state President, Sanni Yaqubu, ordered the postponement of services in mosques pending the time all the conditions will be met.
The conditions include: provisions of Covid-19 facilities like infra-red thermometers, sanitizers, masks, hand washing facilities, and maintenance of social distancing, among others.