CAN rejects closure of churches over fresh COVID-19 outbreak
Imo State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, appealed to the state government to remove closure of churches from measures to contain the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The appeal was made in a stakeholders meeting of the state’s COVID-19 Taskforce Committee with church leaders in Owerri, the state capital.
State Chairman of CAN, Reverend Eches Divine Eches, said the church was an integral part of society and partner in the growth, development and progress of the state and humanity in its entirety.
He argued church services were an avenue, which religious leaders explore to reach out to their members and deepen the awareness about the pandemic.
He assured that religious leaders are poised to join hands with the state government in the efforts to curb the spread of the dreaded virus in the state and also safeguard the lives of the citizens.
Other religious leaders, who spoke at the meeting, include Bishop Titus Akanabu, Archbishop Ibemere Andrew, Bishop Chris Elimiaga, Prof. Oliver Alozie, Rev. Bethel Nwanebu, Pastor Bede Nwoko and Mrs. Irene Mba, among others. They lauded efforts of the state government and the taskforce team to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
They also sought continued support from the government to encourage them to meet the spiritual and other needs of the people.
Chairman of the Imo State COVID-19 Taskforce Team, Prof. Maurice Iwu, said the meeting became necessary to rejig measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus in Imo State.
He stressed that all hands should be on deck to continually safeguard the lives of the people, especially during the Christmas and New Year season following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iwu said the state government recognised the church leaders as key stakeholders in the state; hence it was seeking their partnership and support to ensure adherence to all COVID-19 prevention protocols
He also suggested that in alternative to shutting down the churches, “therefore church leaders should consider outdoor services where there is no enough space as well as limit the number of attendance to services to 100 only to allow free ventilation.”
Iwu, a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said the Governor Hope Uzodimma-led government would not tolerate any attempt to endanger the lives of Imo people or jeopardise efforts aimed at safeguarding them.