Osagie Otabor, Benin
Ondo State Government has granted permission for churches in the state to hold Easter Sunday services.
It however issued some conditions the churches must adhere to with a view to curbing the spread of COVID-19.
A statement by chairman of Ondo chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) Reverend John Oladapo, said social distancing order would be observed.
Oladapo said the CAN leadership met with the State Government to rub minds on how to hold Easter Sunday worship service, which was granted by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Oladapo stated that CAN agreed to adhere to handwashing with soap, water and sanitisers as well as limiting services to 20 people in a small church building, 50 persons in a medium size while big and cathedrals must maintain 3 congregants on a pew.
He said the Easter services would hold between 7am and 12noon on Sunday and warned against posting the church services on social media.
Commissioner for information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, in his explanation, said there was no need for any misgivings.
Ojogo said the position of CAN and the Government should be seen as mutually inclusive.
He said the state government has communicated the consession granted CAN to the Ondo State Police Command that it was to allow the celebration of Easter Sunday in churches.
According to him: “CAN’s statement is explicit enough that Government had graciously granted a special relief to enable Christians celebrate Easter Sunday, being one of the most important annual celebrations of the Church. That is the true position; more so that the word ‘restriction’ advisedly applied to provide the caveat for this special concession in line with crowd control regulations.
“For emphasis, there will be no Easter Retreat (Good Friday Programmes) or the Jumat service gatherings on Friday or ‘Gallilee’ on Monday. The ban on all social, political and religious gatherings continues afterwards, until further notice,” Ojogo said.