From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has commended Christians across the state for complying with the directive of maintaining social distance during church services to check the spread of coronavirus.
The governor made the commendation after he led the Task Force on Enforcement of the Ban on Public and Religious Gatherings to monitor compliance on Sunday.
Governor Wike who spoke with journalists, said the churches ensured that each service had about 50 worshippers as agreed during the meeting at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Governor Wike accompanied by the Service Commanders monitored compliance at the Saint Thomas Anglican Church, Mile Two Diobu, Saint John’s Anglican Church, Rumueme Deanery, Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, Rumuepirikom Deanery, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Rumuapara District, Abundant Life Evangel Mission Cathedral.
They also monitored compliance at the Saint Andrews Anglican Church, Rumuobiokani, Saint Michael’s Anglican Church, Rumuomasi Deanery, the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim, Mount of Grace, Elekahia, Saint Barnabas Anglican Church, Elekahia Archdeaconry, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Diobu.
The team moved through Corpus Christi, Port Harcourt, Living Faith Church, Kaduna Street, D-Line and Churches on Aggrey Road in Port Harcourt.
All the churches visited had running water, soap and hand sanitizers to disinfect worshipers before and after service.
Governor Wike said: “The compliance is very much appreciated, except for two churches that did not completely comply; Saint Thomas Anglican Church and Holy Trinity Rumuapara. I have told the pastors that I don’t want to shut down the two churches.
“In all, we are satisfied with the total compliance. That shows that the people appreciate what we are talking about. For us, the safety of our people remains key. We are happy today.”
“For the two churches that failed to comply, we will review the situation and take action. As you can see, we went to different churches.”
It will be recalled that the State Governor, Nyesom Wike met with religious leaders at the Government House, Port Harcourt where it was resolved that no Church Service should exceed 50 persons.
He said “This is a trying period. The State Government owes the society a responsibility to protect lives and property.
“This is an interface to inform you of the measures that the State Government is taking.”
He urged the Churches to ensure social distancing of about 50 persons who worship at a particular time.