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Ban on public gatherings in Rivers for safety of lives, Wike insists


Governor Nyesom Wike has insisted that the ban on public and religious gatherings in Rivers State was part of measures to protect life and property in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, appreciating Christian faithful for complying with the social distancing directive of government to check the spread of the disease.

He spoke after he led the task force on enforcement of the ban on public and religious gatherings to monitor compliance yesterday in Port Harcourt.

All the churches visited by the governor had running water, soap and hand sanitisers to disinfect worshipers before and after service.


Wike explained that he was happy to observe that most of the religious institutions in the state complied with the 50 worshippers at a time order.

His words: “The compliance is very much appreciated, except for two churches that did not completely comply. I have told the pastors that I don’t want to shut down the two churches. In all, we are satisfied with the total compliance. That shows that the people appreciate what we are talking about. For us, the safety of our people remains key. We are happy today. For the two churches that failed to comply, we will review the situation and take action. As you can see, we went to different churches.”

The governor had last week met with religious leaders in Port Harcourt, where it was resolved that no church service should exceed 50 persons.

“This is a trying period. The state government owes the society a responsibility to protect lives and property. This is an interface to inform you of the measures that the state government is taking,” he stated.

He implored the churches to ensure social distancing of about 50 persons who worship at a time.

The governor advised all religious groups to spread out their worship time in order to admit fewer people at a time.


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