Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola has approved the opening of Churches and Mosques amidst strict guidelines.
The agreement was reached on Wednesday at separate meetings with Christian and Muslim leaders on guidelines for reopening of churches and mosques for two weeks.
The governor said the decision on partial reopening of worship centers was in response to the request by religious leaders and the resolve of the Nigerian Government to lift the ban on religious activities.
Strict Adherence to Government Guidelines
He said the guidelines prepared by the government must be followed to forestall the possible spread of the virus, consequent upon the opening of religious centers.
Oyetola stated that further government actions would be determined by the effect of compliance level with the guidelines during the two-week period.
“Only regular church services of not more than one hour and a maximum of two services will be allowed, and Jumat service including khutbah (sermon) and prayers must not exceed 20 minutes.
“Vulnerable individuals such as those from age 65 and above and people with underlying ailments such as tuberculosis, diabetes, among others are to continue to worship at their respective homes.
“I have also directed that all church and mosques premises be fumigated to ensure the worship environments are free of virus and other infectious diseases,” the Governor said.
The governor urged worshipers to keep reasonable space, insisting that no worship centres must be filled to capacity during any service.
He stressed that attendance at any service must not exceed one-third capacity of the church or mosque and that washing facilities or sanitisers must be provided at the entry.
“Use of face mask is important. Sharing of worship devices such as microphones and other musical gadgets should be discouraged. Water and food distribution during service should also be discouraged.
“Worshippers must avoid the exchange of banters and social distancing must be strictly observed. Windows in churches and mosques should be opened during worship for ventilation. Signage and notices should be placed at strategic locations to remind worshippers of best hygiene practices to be observed.”
Governor Oyetola further mandated religious centers to provide thermometers to check worshippers’ temperature, saying whoever is with high temperature should not be allowed into the worship centres.
He warned that vigils and children activities remain suspended, and advised that worship centres with the support of security operatives should set up a taskforce to enforce compliance with the agreed guidelines.