Cross River Governor, Prof Ben Ayade has ordered the reopening of churches and mosques in the state, citing ‘spiritual economy’ and pressure mounted on him as reason for the decision.
The development was contained in a statement Ayade’s Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Christian Ita released on Wednesday.
In it, the governor outlined the requirements congregational worship must be met including compulsory face masks wearing by worshippers and crowd control.
The statement read in part: “We are very grateful to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Pastors, Christians of various denominations. We are also grateful to the entire Muslim community for their support and cooperation during the period of suspension of public worship in our state in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We acknowledge the understanding and cooperation of religious leaders contributed immensely in keeping our State Coronavirus Free thus far.
“However, conscious of the Spiritual Economy, and in response to appeals by religious leaders in our state, His Excellency has issued the following executive orders: The order suspending public worship in the state, is hereby lifted with effect from Sunday, May 24th. 2020.
“Consequently, starting from Sunday, May 24, 2020, church services are permitted but should be limited to the sitting capacity of the Church. Same applies to Mosques.
“Use of nose mask is compulsory for all worshipers. Churches and Mosques should provide buckets for hand washing, or sanitizers. “Churches and Mosques are advised to strickly keep to the above instructions. The enforcement team will still go around to check compliance.”