Covid-19: Confusion As FG Overrules Governors, Says Ban Not Lifted

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Presidential Task Force on Covid19

…Warns against mass consumption of Hydrxoychloroquine, other unapproved drugs

 …Sultan tells Muslims to ignore governors, observe Juma’at, Edi-el-Fitr prayers at home

Confusion in the land as FG overrules governors, says ban on religious gathering not lifted

Nigerians, particularly of the Muslim faith are a bit confused on which directive to adhere to as regards religious gatherings in their respective states. This is more pronounced because of the Friday (Juma’at) prayers and forthcoming end of Ramadan (Edi-el-Fitr) prayers and celebrations.

While some governors have lifted ban on religious gatherings and asked residents to participate in congregational prayers, the Federal Government held a different opinion insisting that the ban on gathering of more than 20 people was still in place.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 control Boss Mustapha on Thursday warned of the dangers in allowing large gatherings without respite in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

He reiterated that the ban on gatherings of more than 20 people remained banned.

Mustapha, who spoke at the daily briefing by the PTF in Abuja, emphasised the “need for states to diligently implement and enforce compliance. Particularly, I underscore the need for the governors to provide personal and strong leadership, carry the policy of community ownership to the grass-roots and create deeper awareness.

“Governors are also advised on the decision taken by some of their colleagues to permit large gatherings as such decisions could inadvertently endanger the elderly, the sick and those with underlying factors during such gatherings. The strong advisory from the PTF is that large gatherings beyond 20 persons remain prohibited and should be adhered to”.

The SGF also announced that the PTF would work with the National Assembly. The House of Representatives has  inaugurated an Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19.

“The PTF on COVID-19 is pleased to inform you that in order to underscore the seriousness attached to this COVID-19 pandemic, the House of Representatives has set up an Ad-Hoc COVID-19 Committee.

“In deepening the existing collaborative spirit, we shall work together with the legislature to be more productive and add value to the overall delivery of service to Nigerians on behalf of whom we hold our responsibility in trust”.

Many governors have opened up their states for religious gatherings. These include Cross River, Ebonyi, Kano, Borno, Zamfara and Bauchi, among others.

But, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has advised Muslims to observe the Edi-el-Fitr prayers at home in accordance with the PTF-issued guidelines.

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mohammed Bello has resisted pressure to open worship centres in Abuja.

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