COVID-19: Ayade orders arrest of religious leaders flouting ban on large gatherings

Our Ref: GO/PRESS/012/VOL.I/ 190   

APRIL 25, 2020


It is sad to note that inspite of the untiring  efforts of the state government to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus into the  state, some religious bodies have elected to violate the ban on large gathering by conducting services in their churches/worship centres.

It has also been observed that most churches have now adjusted their service time to the early hours of the morning and now holding services between 5am and 7am every Sunday as well as weekly activities with over 20 worshipers and for a duration longer than 30 minutes without nose masks.

Government views this act by leaders of such churches who ought to be dependable partners in the fight against the pandemic, as an affront.

His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade seriously frowns at this development and hereby directs law enforcement agencies to ensure strict enforcement of the COVID -19  laid down preventive measures by  arresting for prosecution any religious leader who violates the ban on large gatherings by conducting service/mass and have their worship centres permanently sealed as from tomorrow, April 26,2020

Christian Ita
Special Adviser, Media and Publicity

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  1. #COVID19:

    I went round the city of Calabar within the week and upto today and I have observed the followings;

    1. Markets e.g Watt, Marian, Akim, Mbukpa, and Ikot Ishie markets etc. filled to the brim with no form of Hand Sanitizing, little or no nose mask usage without social distancing.

    2. Supermarkets on the major and minor streets opened, SPAR very much opened and attending to many customers.

    3. Civil servants from level 10 and above were asked to return back to work and ministries filled with activities.

    4. Bear palourd/Bars opened with People seen having their time drinking and socializing with or without nose masks.

    Most of these sales, gatherings and socialization takes place between hours of 6am - 10pm daily (16 hours).

    But the CHURCH have been asked not to gather to pray, worship God and attend to the spiritual needs of God's people even for at most 1 hour.

    I want to please ask;

    1. Is there a direct relationship between Coronavirus and the CHURCH...?

    2. Is there any research that shows that Coronavirus can be easily spread in CHURCH than other gatherings no matter the least period of time gathered...?

    3. Has the origin of COVID-19 being traced to the CHURCH...?

    4. Does the CHURCH produce Coronavirus...?

    5. Why can't the church gather with observation and enforcement of use of nose mask, hand washing/sanitizing and social distancing same as it's been done at the ministry offices and Supermarkets etc...?

    6. For how long will the church continue being locked up while other activities go on unhindered...?

    7. Is there a secret direct attack on the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST in the guise of curbing COVID19 spread in CALABAR...?

    I need Clarification please.

    A Concerned Child of God.