Following cries from popular clerics, Bishop Oyedepo of Winners’ Chapel and Rev Chris Oyahkilome of Christ Embassy, for churches to be opened, the Federal government has cleared the air on why churches have been left shut.
Speaking on Thursday at the daily COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, Dr. Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 said that the easing of the lockdown is to allow for minimal economic activity, and not for entertainment.
Dr. Aliyu made the clarification when he was asked by a journalist to respond to calls from Bishop David Oyedepo and Pastor Chris Oyakhilome for churches to be opened since markets have been allowed to function.
Recall Bishop Oyedepo had queried the logic behind allowing a market to open which according to him is not orderly, and closing a church which he said is more orderly.
“It is important for us to know that the easing of the lockdown does not mean that COVID-19 has been defeated. It is purely to allow for economic activity to go on, while at the same time the public is protected,” Dr. Aliyu said.
“We have allowed markets to open three times a week between 8 am to 3 pm, the same applies to the abattoir. We have also allowed the supermarkets to open between 8 am and 3 pm as well as eateries.
“…and the same way we have banned bars, clubs, gardens, entertainment centers, etc. While we have allowed this relaxation, at the time we put in place some enforcement, for example, we are making sure we don’t have more than 20 people congregating.
“It must be noted that these measures are not put in place for the PTF, but for the general good of the public, our health, and our well being.”