Members of the Islamic faith across Ogun state on Friday, observed the Friday Juma’at after five months ban on religious worship following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
LEADERSHIP observed that mosques across the state, particularly the Central Mosque at Kobiti area of Abeokuta metropolis as well as other major mosques in town, witnessed a large turnout of Muslim faithful who converged for the prayers.
Their convergence for the Juma’at prayer followed earlier announcements by the state government, lifting the ban on religious worship centres across the state.
Christians are however, expected to observe their prayers in churches with effect from Sunday August 16, 2020.
The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun had at the early hours of the day, announced that worship activities in the state would commence on Friday, 14th August in line with the agreement reached by the committee set up to develop guidelines for the reopening of worship centres.
Abiodun, who through a statement issued yesterday, eased the weekend restrictions of human and vehicular movements across the state, added that the number of people at every social gathering has been expanded to a maximum of 50 persons.
The governor disclosed that the state has set up a Task Force that would be deployed to monitor and enforce compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines.
Abiodun noted that it is of great importance that all stakeholders fully comply with the agreed guidelines, so that the curve of the pandemic could be further flattened.
“Protocols for the reopening of the worship centres were jointly designed by religious leaders and the Government and we expect that they will be scrupulously adhered to. Our religious leaders who still have doubts about some of the conditions should feel free to approach the Task Force for clarifications and support,” he stated.
He further enjoined religious leaders to ensure that all guidelines, some of which include wearing of face masks, provision of running water, decontamination of worship centres before and after every service, provision of Veronica buckets for hand washing, provision of alcohol based hand sanitizers as well as the discouragement of the use of air conditioners among other during worship service are strictly adhered to.
“However, if perchance we discover that any of our religious centres is not complying or adhering to the laid down protocols, we will be left with no alternative than to sanction such centres,” the governor further said.
On education, the governor disclosed that Junior Secondary School classes registered for the NECO Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) are to return to school from Monday 17th August 2020, while entrance examinations into the Ogun State Boarding Schools will take place on Saturday 12th September 2020.
“Following the release of the timetable for examinations by the National Examination Council (NECO), JSS3 students who have registered for the NECO Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) are to return to school from Monday 17th August 2020, the BECE exam organized by the Ogun State Government will hold at a date to be announced later.