At last, the Ogun State government, after several weeks of meetings and deliberations with religious leaders under the auspices of the State League of Imams and Alfas, as well as the Christians Association of Nigeria, CAN, has lifted the ban on worship centres across the state.
The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, has also lifted the lockdown placed on weekend – Satuday and Sunday, which had been in place for some months with immediate effect.
The state government, however said that worshipers must use facemask, maintain social distancing and comply with COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.
In a related development, the state government has announced that Junior Secondary School Three, JSS3, students will resume on Monday, August 17, 2020 to join their counterparts in the Senior Secondary School Three, SSS3, who are already preparing for the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, to begin their own preparation for the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination, JSSCE.
The reopening of mosques and churches was announced through a press signed by the governor on Friday in Abeokuta, amid tight COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
Governor Abiodun stated that the weekend lockdown was relaxed to allow commercial and other activities, except partying, at the weekend and ensure that the people and religious leaders in the state boost spiritual fights and prayers to God Almighty against the deadly virus.
He said, “After thorough deliberation, consideration and resolution, we decided to reopen the worship centres with effect from Friday 14th August, 2020 as indicated in my last address. This decision was made in line with agreement reached by the committee set up to develop guidelines for reopening of the religious centres.
“The Committee includes the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN; the League of Imams and Alfas and government representatives. I am delighted to note that reports reaching us indicate varying, but encouraging level of preparedness by the worship centres.
“Therefore, today, Friday, 14th August is hereby confirmed for the commencement of operations of the worship centres, subject to the guidelines.
“Let me say that now that our worship centres are open for activities, the restrictions on weekends are lifted, but the limitation on social gatherings not exceeding 20 people at any place at the same time is still very much in force.”
Giving an update on statistics of COVID-19 cases in the state, the governor said that as at Thursday, 13th August, 2020, the COVID-19 statistics in Ogun State are: 7,122 screened persons; 1,521 confirmed cases; 1,288 persons treated and discharged; 24 fatalities; while 206 are receiving medical attention.
Governor Abiodun added, “Records from the Presidential Task Force indicate that the number of positive cases went down over the last two weeks, but that does not mean that the pandemic has reached the peak. Our approach and efforts are improving day by day. We will continue to test and identify infected people for prompt treatment and resultantly flatten the curve.”