The Christian Association of Nigeria has expressed hope that the ban on religious gatherings in the country may be lifted by the first Sunday of June. This indication was stated by CAN President Rev Samson Ayokunle on Wednesday.
He said if the government approved the opening of markets and banks, there would not be any basis to hesitate in reopening churches considering the fact that they are more organised than markets and banks.
“As a law-abiding institution, the church in Nigeria and the Christian Association of Nigeria that binds all of us together complied, hitherto, with government’s directive suspending church services for the past eight weeks now. However, the Church is well prepared for the resumption of worship and as one of the most organized institutions in the country with trained leadership and good guidance by the Scripture. We are in discussions with the Federal Government and are drawing the guidelines that churches would follow in order not to endanger the life of any worshipper and equally prevent COVID-19 infection. We are sure of compliance if the government allows our compliance team to work hand-in-hand with their law enforcement agencies to monitor compliance. If the government didn’t entertain any fear in opening markets and banks which are not as organized as the church, why should the government entertain fear about the compliance of the church,We are hopeful that latest by the first Sunday in June, all our churches would open again for congregational worship under COVID-19 prevention regulations. As I said before, we are consulting with the government on this.” He stated.
Meanwhile, CAN, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 met on Wednesday over the issue.
The CAN delegation was led by the Chairman of its North Central chapter and President of FCT Baptist Conference, Rev. Israel Akanji.
The representatives of the Federal Government were said to have promised to prepare their own recommendations to be presented to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), who would decide the accepted ones and present them to the country in his nationwide broadcast scheduled for next week.