Inside Nigeria

Ortom Overturns Order, Shuts Down Worship Centres

The Benue State Government has on Saturday rescinded its decision to reopen worship centres, markets, and other public places.

Earlier on Thursday, Governor Samuel Ortom had lifted the ban on worship centres in the state and instructed that they should be reopened for staggered worship, while also ordering that local markets be opened.

However, in a change of order, Ortom who spoke to journalists in a press briefing in the Government House, Makurdi, the state capital, said the former order has been overturned, taking to the advice of the Federal Government and religious bodies who are against the reopening of worship centres.

“We are a component part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and we appreciate the fact that the Federal Government is the custodian of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and they are informed about what is going on, and so we must subject ourselves to their decision in accordance with laws of the land.

“We do not want to endanger the lives of our people. In the event of any challenge concerning this pandemic, the next port of call will be the Federal Government, so we cannot kick against its advice. We feel that the advice is genuine. If we took a decision and we have this kind of advice that is genuine and meant to support the health of our people, we have no reason whatsoever to go ahead with the decision we earlier took.

“Therefore, on behalf of the State Executive Council, I hereby reverse the lifting of ban on churches and mosques services and prayers.

“We have reverted to the status quo where churches, mosques, and other public places like markets were closed,” he said.

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