Kaduna State Government has advised religious leaders to suspend all religious gatherings such as Friday Juma’at prayers, daily congregational prayers and Sunday services as part of efforts to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.
This followed the state government’s containment measures that closed down all schools including nursery and primary schools, secondary schools and all tertiary institutions in the state effective Monday, March 23, 2020 for 30 days.
A statement issued from Sir Kashim Ibrahim House and signed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye stated that the administration was taking a cue from the decision of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ”the cradle of Islam, not to hold Juma’at prayers in the two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madina.”
”In many Muslim-majority countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, members of the public are encouraged to pray at home, and not congregate as is the practice in normal times,’’ he said.
The Special Adviser further said church services should be suspended, adding that Christian faithful should learn from the experience of many Christian-majority countries like Italy, France and Germany.
”Pastors as well as congregants are expected to abide by public health advice and avoid gatherings in churches. Other means of worship and fellowship should be adopted in much smaller numbers of not more than 10 persons, for now.”
Adekeye stressed that while no case of COVID-19 has been reported in the state so far, the government was duty bound to work with all our leaders and residents of the state to jointly ensure that everything is done to reduce the chance of the disease taking root and spreading in the state.
He states that based on public health expert advice which state that large gatherings of more than 10 persons are not advisable, the state has placed a ban on any assembly of more than 50 persons until further notice.
”Social gatherings in parties, bars, restaurants, night clubs, public parks and such places are suspended until further notice.’’
The statement urged all citizens, including religious and community leaders, to do their duty in supporting the measures which will help in significantly protecting the larger society from the negative impacts of COVID-19.