Abuja residents troop to church as worship centres reopen


Following the lifting of ban on churches across the country by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, residents of the country’s capital, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja trooped out en masse to worship.

Our correspondent who monitored the development observed that many were singing praises of government for the reopening of worship centers.

A Christian, Mr. John Olawale told News men that: “it is a thing of joy that churches are now permitted to hold worship. I personally have missed church. But we should adhere to the protocol of government to further curb the pandemic. I know very soon Nigeria will overcome this saga”.

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has also commended the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and other church leaders across the Territory for ensuring compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines for religious organisations.

Chairman, FCT Ministerial Task-team on the Enforcement of COVID-19 Restrictions, Mr Ikharo Attah gave the commendation when he led the team on inspection of some churches to monitor compliance.

At the First Baptist Church, Gimbiya street in Area 11 where the team met the Northern Central Chairman of CAN, Reverend Israel Akanji , the chairman commended the church for its strict adherence to the guidelines.

He said; “entering the church through the gate, we met some personnel who checked our temperature and gave us sanitizers to apply on our hands.

As we entered, we saw several hand washing points. This is what the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello and the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha want to see”.

Responding Reverend Akanji said the Church had given its word to government to abide by the guidelines, and commended the FCT minister and the Taskteam “for monitoring to ensure compliance”.

At the ECWA Church, Maitama, the team met with the Chairman of the FCT chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Reverend Samson Jonah.

The FCT CAN chairman noted that,” for the Church, compliance with government rules, particularly one like this that bothers on the health and safety of Christians is a must.

We would continue to do our best to sustain it. We met with the pastors in FCT and directed that the guidelines be strictly adhered to”

Speaking with the Task-team chairman said, “the church had truly proved itself to be the light and salt of the world as christ commanded in Mathew Chapter 5 verse 13 to 17.”

The team was also at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, Abuja where it met with Bishop Anselm Umoren.

Attah commended the Catholic Church, Maitama for opening a registry of members as parts of efforts to ensure contact tracing should anyone come down with  Covid-19.

On his part, the bishop said, “the Catholic Church across the Federation would always abide by what is good for its members and citizens of the country”.