After weeks of shutdown, Christian activities began in Ondo State as churches opened for worship on Sunday.
The state government had placed a ban on religious activities as part of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had last week announced the lifting of the ban on religious gathering and ordered the reopening of churches and mosques in the state on Fridays and Sundays while all other weekly programmes remained suspended till further notice.
He, however, directed that religious gatherings must be in compliance with the directive and observance of COVID-19 protocols, saying all worshippers, including children, should wear face masks and social distancing must be maintained.
He said hand-washing containers and sanitisers must be provided at religious centres. The governor also threatened to close down any church or mosque that failed to comply with the directive.
In some of the churches visited by our correspondent in Akure, the state capital, on Sunday, it was observed that the churches complied with the government’s directive as the water, soap and sanitisers were provided for the worshippers to wash their hands, among others.
However, some churches were still under lock and key.
Churches like the South-West Region 4 Headquarters of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles in Akure, did not hold any service as worshippers were not found there.
An official of the church, who pleaded anonymity, said, “The church has not opened because certain things needed to be put in place before service can be conducted.”