As the Kano State government’s lockdown order entered the third day today (Sunday), thousands of Christian faithful in the state have remained indoors, skipping the weekly Sunday services in apparent compliance with the directive.
Recall that on Tuesday, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had imposed a one-week total lockdown effective from Thursday, after recording 21 cases of coronavirus in the state.
Saturday evening, the state had recorded 10 more cases, bringing the total number of infections to 37 in the state.
On Friday, all the popular Juma’at mosques around Kano metropolis were under lock and key, following the lockdown directive.
Today, Sunday, our reporter observed that virtually all the churches in the commercial city too have been locked up for Sunday services, including the popular worship centres like Our Lady of Fatima, First Baptist Church, Redeemed Christian Church and many others.
It was gathered that every Sunday, thousands of Christian faithful attend Church services at Christian dominated areas of Sabongari, Badawa, Brigade and Fanisau in the state.
Speaking to a team of reporters who toured the state to observe the level of compliance with the lockdown order by the Christians, the administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Church, Rev. Fr. Michael Adegbola, said he had directed over 6,000 members of the church to stay at home and observe their prayers.
While lamenting how the Coronavirus pandemic had forced his church to suspend six mass sessions, the reverend-father said the situation was unprecedented in the history of mankind, adding that even at the times of war and violence church services were on.
“I directed them to stay at home and perform their prayers there. It is an unprecedented situation that we have to now embrace God. We have to submit ourselves to God. We have to hold God tightly to bring an end to this menace.
“Even war and violence did not stop church services, but today due to coronavirus, we have suspended our holy six mass sessions. But I remain hopeful that we shall overcome this,” he stressed.
Mr Adegbola, therefore, urged the members of his church to heed to the medical advisories by regularly observing personal hygiene at their homes.
On his part, the state chapter chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Samuel Adeyemo said he had issued a circular to all churches across the state to comply with the lockdown order.
According to him, even on Saturday, he had to send a reminder to the churches for total compliance to their directive in order to support the government’s efforts towards containing the virus.
He warned that any church found to be violating the order would be punished accordingly, stressing that CAN would not intervene in their travails.
Mr Adeyemo noted that CAN had no choice than to cooperate with the government on the lockdown order.
“We will not intervene if any church defaults this directive. CAN will not come for them. They should face it because we have officially told them. Even yesterday (Saturday) we sent them a reminder.
“Therefore, anybody that disobeys this order is on his own. We will not help him. This is a situation that needs total devotion to God,” he said.
The chairman, who described the situation as “necessary necessity”, commended the state government for the lockdown order in a bid to contain the speed of coronavirus.