The Ogun State Government has announced a conditional approval for the reopening of worship centres across the state from August 14, 2020, and warned that all outfits must completely obey the COVID-19 protocols.
The state government also approved August 4, 2020 as schools’ resumption date for students preparing to sit for the regional examination organised by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
The Ogun State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, told journalists wednesday in Abeokuta, the state capital, that his administration resolved to lift the ban earlier placed on religious congregations and schools after due consultation with critical stakeholders.
He thanked the League of Imams and Alfas as well as the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for showing understanding in the process.
Abiodun explained that his administration’s engagement with different stakeholders in the education sector has received far-reaching recommendations.
“In line with the federal government resolutions, exit classes-strictly SS3 only (public or private schools), will resume classes on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Then, there will be a two-week revision classes to prepare the SS3 students for the commencement of the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) slated to start on Monday, 17th August, 2020,” he
The governor also said that he was ready to invoke the appropriate section of the statute book, which stipulated a six-month jail term on anyone caught not wearing the facemask.
“We have continued to engage the leaderships of the two religious bodies, as represented by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the League of Imams and Alfas on the modalities for the reopening of the religious houses. And, we thank them for their understanding, support and solidarity.
“We now have guidelines for the reopening of our worship centres jointly developed and agreed with our religious leaders. This was finalised after collaborative and inclusive meeting with the religious institutional representatives and made available on Monday, July 27, 2020. It is in our collective interest to fully comply with the guidelines so that, together, we can further flatten the curve of this pandemic,” the governor said.
According to him, other conditions stipulated for allowing religious worship centres to open include that all congregants must wear their face masks appropriately (that is, No facemask, No entry); adequate provision of alcohol-based sanitiser, which must be used before and after service and that Muslims congregants must perform ablution at home before going to the mosques “with their personal praying mats”.