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‘Oyo To Permit Crossover Nights Under Strict COVID-19 Protocols’, Says Makinde, But Some Mega Churches May Say No

The Oasis Reporter

December 31, 2020


3: From left, Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Debo Ogundoyin; Deputy Governor, Engr Rauf Olaniyan; Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde; CAN President, Pastor Supo Ayokunle, Prelate Emeritus, Methodist Church Nigeria, Bishop Ola Makinde and Pastor Samuel Kayode Abiara during the Oyo State 2020 Christmas carol service and Nine Lessons held at Remembrance Arcade, Government House, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo State Govt. File photo.

…says Task Force officials to enforce protocols, guidelines

…worship, event centres to utilise 50 per cent capacity

…violators of guidelines, advisories’ll face penalties

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Wednesday, approved the suspension of the 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. curfew earlier imposed on states by the Federal Government, saying that officials of the State’s Task Force on Covid-19 will ensure strict compliance to the guidelines and advisories during the Yuletide and after.

The governor, has therefore, directed that religious centres be allowed to hold crossover worship services only in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

The Technical Team of the Task Force on COVID-19 had earlier stated that it was ruling out the crossover services in view of the 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. curfew imposed by the Federal Government.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, however, warned that worship centres must adhere strictly to the advisories and guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.

The statement further indicated that the governor gave the directives in a brief endorsed by the chairman of the Technical Team of the COVID-19 Task Force, Prof. Temitope Alonge, which reviewed the earlier pronouncement of the Technical Team and lifted the curfew.

The statement added that other advisories earlier released by the Task Force, including the directive of 50 per cent occupancy for worship and event centres, ban of street carnivals and others, remain in effect.

The statement read : “Following a review of the pronouncement of the Technical Team of the Task Force on COVID-19 in Oyo State on 29th December 2020, His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, FNSE, has magnanimously directed that the 12 midnight to 4 a.m. curfew be lifted. “The governor has also warned citizens and residents of Oyo State to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines, protocols and advisories as laid down by the OYO State COVID-19 Task Force aimed at limiting the transmission of the disease in our communities.

“Secondly, he has directed that enforcement of these guidelines and protocols in accordance with the law will be applied as appropriate, enjoining individuals and organizations to comply and by so doing ensure that we all spread the joy of this season and not the virus.”

It will be recalled that the Oyo State Task Force on COVID-19 had, in a communique released on Tuesday, earlier warned individuals, families and corporate organisations in the state to adhere to protocols such as the use of face masks in public places, social distancing and regular washing of hands.

The Task Force had equally reminded event centres on the existing advisory on 50 percent capacity occupancy for events, while also enforcing the proper use of face masks and handing washing requirements.

It admonished residents of the state, including private healthcare providers and individuals feeling unwell, to access the available testing centres across the 33 local government areas of the state.

However, branch Churches with headquarters in other States might not hold Cross-over services in Oyo State, despite the new directive from the government.

Two of the biggest Pentecostal churches in Nigeria like Bishop David Oyedepo’s Winner’s Chapel and Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s Redeemed Christian Church of God have their head offices in Ogun State, where Covid-19 mitigation rules are stricter, due to the State’s contiguity with Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital and leading entry point for foreigners visiting Nigeria.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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