…says markets, churches, mosques must remain shut
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has stated that markets, religious worship centers in the state have to remain closed to contain the spread of covid-19.
The governor had earlier ordered churches and mosques in the state, closed due to the pandemic, said they should reopen.
He also ordered for the reopening of markets.
However, during the weekly news briefing on activities of the Covid -19 Quick Response Team in the state on Saturday, the governor rescinded his earlier orders.
On why he did, he said it was due to the apprehension expressed by the Federal Government over decisions by some state governments to reopen religious activities.
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had on Thursday warned the state governors against lifting bans on worship centres and other gatherings.
It insisted that the directive of the Federal Government against the gathering of more than 20 persons was still be in effect.
Ortom said Benue as a state that remained a component of the Federal Government, could not go ahead with a decisions that goes against the expressed standing of the Federal Government.
According to him, the Federal Government, as the custodian of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), had all the needed information on the viral infection and how to contain its spread.
The governor pleaded with the residents of the state to bear with the state government over the withdrawal of the earlier order.
He said, “You need to be alive before you can worship.”
The governor added that he had consulted with relevant stakeholders including leaders of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jamatu Nasiru Islam on the matter.