Posted by News Express | 19 April 2020 | 412 times
Some mosques in Mararaba, a suburb in Nasarawa State, bordering the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have persistently disregarded the federal and state governments’ social distancing policy in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Also, some mosques in Nyanaya and Karu satellite towns located within the fringes of the FCT, down to the One-Man Village, Masaka, all in Nasarawa State, ignored the government order, banning worshippers from gathering in their places of worship.
Both federal and most state governments in Nigeria had directed the implementation of social distancing to avoid close contact of individuals with one another, which had been established as a major and fastest means of spreading the global menace.
President Muhammadu Buhari had first imposed a total lockdown on Lagos and Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to curb the spread of the dreaded virus.
Also, the Nasarawa State Government on April 1, 2020, announced a 24-hour curfew in Karu Local Government Area of the state to restrict movements of people from the FCT to the state, because the Council Area had adjoining boundary with the nation’s political capital.
The decision of the Nasarawa State government to impose curfew in the area till further notice was informed by the fact that the FCT had the second highest cases of Coronavirus spread in the country, as it was next only to Lagos State.
However, government at all levels had in placing restriction order, exempted some persons on essential services to the nation, including health workers, food sellers, bank workers, media workers, petrol dealers, cooking gas sellers and NEPA officials, among others.
In a memo from the Nasarawa State government, dated 27th March, the government stated among others that, “worship centres such as mosques and churches are to remain closed till further notice.
“All markets are to be closed except sellers of food items, food vendors and pharmaceutical shops outside the markets.
“Social distancing directive of the Federal Government of Nigeria is to be strictly complied with.”
However, New Telegraph had consistently monitored Nyanaya and Karu (in FCT) and Mararaba, down to Masaka (in Nasarawa State), and observed that some mosques refused to adhere to the directives on social distancing.
The residents of some parts of Nasarawa State, which largely violated the order, were those living in the interior settlements well off the Abuja-Keffi Road, where security operatives were mainly stationed to conduct checks.
Some of the mosques within these hidden settlements had been consistently gathering early in the morning, afternoon and evening for prayers without observing the principle of social distancing prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and recommended for implementation in Nigeria by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). (New Telegraph)
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