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COVID-19 lockdown: Kaduna has not reopened markets, places of worship – Gov. El-Rufai



The Kaduna State Government said that it has not reopened markets or places of worship.

Recall that the public places were closed in March 2020 as the state stepped-up COVID-19 prevention efforts.

Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media & Communication in a statement said that the state government has started engagements with business leaders, and began receiving recommendations from some religious leaders on the subject of safe re-opening of places of worship.

“However, these consultations have not been concluded,” the statement warned.

According to the statement, as announced last week, relevant government agencies would engage business, community, and religious leaders to discuss and agree on the protocols for the safe opening of businesses and market, and resumption of congregational worship.

The statement explained, “Until these consultations result in a formal announcement authorising businesses, markets and places of worship to reopen, it will be a violation of subsisting Quarantine Orders to reopen any unauthorised facility, market or places of worship or to conduct congregational worship of any sort.”

The statement clarified that places of worship in Kaduna State were not closed by the federal government, adding that the decision to close places of worship in Kaduna State was taken and enforced in March 2020 by the state government as part of the proclamation of the Quarantine Orders in the state.

Kaduna State, according to the statement, has its own well-articulated roadmap for reopening, and this was published last week as a public document for the views and inputs of the citizens of the state.

It stated that that is why when it extended the Quarantine Orders by two weeks on 26th May 2020, it also announced steps to ease some of the restrictions that included increasing lockdown-free days to three and allowing approved businesses and facilities to open on those three days.

The explained, “Kaduna State is not one of the three states and the FCT where the Federal Government imposed a lockdown. The steps taken to ease such federally-imposed lockdowns in the concerned places should not be construed as the Federal Government relaxing in all states conditions that it did not impose in the first place.”

It further explained that the quarantine extension announced by the Deputy Governor Dr. Hadiza Balarabe on 26th May 2020 made clear that “schools, places of worship and markets would remain closed under the adjusted orders, adding that the relevant government officials and agencies will be engaging with religious leaders, transport unions, traditional institutions, market unions, school proprietors and other stakeholders as may be identified from time to time, to discuss the conditions and circumstances for a safe reopening of these sectors.”

It reminded that Kaduna State also maintains the prohibition of interstate and intercity travel while government officials and mobile courts would continue to enforce this ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movement.

The nighttime curfew, it said that has been enforced across the state still remains, from 6pm to 6am.

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