By Stanley Onyekwere
Churches in Abuja, the nation’s capital city have been commended for strict adherence to established safety protocols, aimed at containing the spread of the second wave of Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 pandemic.
The churches received the commendation from the FCT COVID-19 Enforcement Taskteam, during an unscheduled inspection tour of some churches in Abuja, yesterday.
Some of the churches visited and scored very high over compliance with COVID-19 protocol were the Central Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Wuse 2, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, First Baptist Church, Area 11, Garki and ECWA Good News Church, Maitama, all within the Abuja’s City Centre.
Head, Publicity and Enlightenment of the Taskforce, Comrade Ikharo Attah who led the tour of churches to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols, said while they were very satisfied with the activities during short service timing by worship centres within the city centres, his team could not go to the suburbs to monitor compliance.
“What we have heard from the satellite towns is also very encouraging, but what we are hearing from the far interior may not be encouraging, but at least, you see some people wearing a few face masks there.
“But from what we have seen, the churches largely complied. They have washing points, sanitizers, temperature scanners and are maintaining physical distancing inside, and the worshippers are all wearing face masks. Even while dancing, it’s been done carefully and are singing with their masks on”.
Ikharo while also calling on all Mosques to comply with the guidelines give by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), vowed to pay inspection visit and ensure appropriate enforcement.
Speaking on challenges associated with the COVID-19 enforcement exercise in the FCT, Ikharo decried the level of sleeplessness of his men, hoping that residents would comply without being forced to do it so that they would also celebrate with their families.
Also speaking, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), FCT Chapter and Senior Pastor, ECWA Good News, Maitama, Rev. Dr. Samson Jonah, revealed that leadship of churches talked and resolved that compliance should be very high during this second wave because of how dangerous and deadly the virus is.
He said: “But above all, as we continue to comply let’s also see the government functionaries doing the same thing, because leadership should be by example.
“We don’t need an angel to tell us how dangerous the virus is so we summoned our pastors and talked to them, we disseminated a lot of information and text messages and told them to ensure total compliance.
“We as the clergy are helping, sensitising and talking to the people; we should also see a high level of compliance when it comes to other gatherings besides the church setting, for instance, campaigns, weddings and so on.
“When you become a leader, the things you do, people will like to copy you; more than what you say. So we want to see that replicated at the higher level. Because knowing the right thing and doing it is most important.”