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COVID-19: NSCIA, CAN reject federal plans to reopen worship centres



The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have rejected moves by the federal government to reopen centres of worship.

In separate interviews with our correspondent, the NSCIA Secretary General, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede and the CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, said the government’s decision is a welcome development.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Monday in Abuja at the 38th joint national briefing of the taskforce, had announced the relaxation of restriction on places of worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.

Oloyede told Daily Trust that, while the council welcomed the government’s decision, it should also take up the responsibility of decontamination of the places of worship across the country.

“We are glad on the government’s decision and we urged the leaders of the religious centres to abide by all the provisions and guidelines stated for the re-opening. We also want the government to ensure the decontamination of the religious centres,” Oloyede said.

On his part the CAN President Ayokunle, who spoke through his spokesman, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the government’s decision, in the interim, is a welcome development. “It is our prayers that God will surely deliver Nigeria from the pandemic in Jesus Name. If Christians and Muslims return to their worship places to pray for victory over COVID-19, God will surely answer us. The closure of the worship places is not acceptable to God. We thank God for opening the eyes of our government to the reality,” Oladeji said.

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