The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ekiti chaper, on Saturday appealed to the state government to allow the conduct of multiple services by Churches as part of efforts to check the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Rev. Fr. Peter Olowolafe, the State Chairman of CAN, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, in Ado-Ekiti.
NAN reports that the deadline for worship centres to meet certain conditions before reopening for normal services expired on Friday August 14.
NAN investigation revealed that mosques on Friday commenced normal Juma’at (Friday congregational) prayers with full adherence to COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing and washing of hands with water and sanitisers.
Olowolafe, who expressed the readiness of the Churches to reopen for normal devotional services on Sunday, appealed for the review of the COVID-19 protocols as they affect Churches.
According to him, Churches should be allowed to conduct multiple services in view of the limited worship hours occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are also appealing to the government to allow full attendance and participation of children in Church services as we have put in place solid arrangement for them.
“Children are known to have separate arrangement for their Church services; all we need to do is to ensure strict adherence to the laid down COVID-19 protocols and conditions.
“We, as leaders of Churches in the state, want to assure government that the granting of this appeal will not in any way jeopardise the efforts toward curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“We are trying as much as possible to abide with the conditions, but leaving the children and the people above 65 at home calls for a review.
“It is risky leaving children at home. It is like telling the parents not to come.
“Even in Lagos State which is the epicenter of the pandemic in Nigeria, the governor has opened the Church and by Sunday, they can have multiple services.
“Our position is that in Ekiti, having two hours service for people above 12 and below 65, is not just enough,” he said.