From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
As the total lockdown order imposed by Kano state government enters the day, all churches in the commercial city have been locked up in compliance to the directive.
It was gathered that over one million Christian faithful did not attend the Sunday service at their respective churches in the state yesterday.
Our reporter, who visited Sabongari, Badawa, Brigade and Fanisau areas where they are mostly dominated by Christians, observed that virtually all the churches were deserted and shut, as only security guards were seen at the entrance.
Observation also shown that all the main and smaller churches across the city, irrespective of sects, were seen locked up.
Big churches such as Our Lady Of Fatima, First Baptist Church, Redeemed Christian Church, among others, remained locked up, just as the usual business activities that take place around the worship centres were also shut down due to the lockdown order.
Speaking to a team of reporters that took a tour to see the level of compliance by the Christians, Reverend Father Michael Adefemi Adegbola, who is the Administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Church, lamented that the situation had forced them to suspend their six mass sessions.
According to him, he had asked his over 6,000 members to obey the government’s order by staying at home to observe their prayers there.
He said that the situation is unprecedented in history as even war and violence did not stop churches services, but the outbreak of COVID-19 had forced places of worships to be closed.
“I directed them to stay at home and perform their prayers there. It is unprecedented situation that we have to now embrace God. We have to submit ourselves to God. We have to hold God tightly to bring an end to this menace.
“ Even war and violence did not stop church services, but today due to coronavirus, we have suspended our holy six mass sessions. But i remain hopeful that we shall overcome this,” he said
Adegbola also urged the members to heed to the medical advices and regularly observe personal hygiene at their homes.
On his part, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Reverend Samuel Adeyemo said he issued a circular to all churches across the state to comply with the lockdown order.
According to him, even on Saturday, he had to send reminder to the churches on the total compliance to their directive in order to bring a conducive atmosphere for government to contain the situation.
He warned that any church found to be violating the order would be punished accordingly, adding that CAN would not intervene in their travails.
Adeyemo noted that CAN had no choice than to cooperate with the government on the lockdown order because it is the issue that affects ever body in the world.
“We will not intervene if any church default this directive. CAN will not come for them. They should face it because we have officially told them. Even yesterday(Saturday) we sent them reminder.
“ Therefore, anybody that disobey this order is on his own. We will not help him. This is a situation that needs total devotion to God,” he said
The chairman, who described the situation as “necessary necessity”, commended the state government for the lockdown order in a bid to contain the speed of coronavirus.
As at the time of filing this report, Kano state has recorded 37 cases of COVID-19 and one death after the state’s Ministry of Health posted the report that 10 more person have tested positive for the disease on Saturday.