By Demola Akinyemi
As Muslim faithful across Kwara State shun mosques last Friday for Jumat service because of the stringent conditions attached to it, the Christians are preparing to resume Church service today, Vanguard findings have revealed.
Kwara State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Most Reverend Paul Olawoore told Vanguard weekend that the churches in the state are prepared to resume worship today, provided all the conditions are met.
He said a committee had been put in place to monitor compliance of the conditions which include infrared to check members temperature, sanitiser and handwashing equipment and compulsory nose masks for all members.
CAN chairman yesterday morning said already he had visited three churches which had complied with the directive, while monitoring of the churches still continues.
“All these equipment must be in place and some churches have already procured nose masks for those who might not come with theirs because everyone must use the nose mask. I have visited three churches and they complied with the directives,” he told Vanguard.
Meanwhile a Christian, Mrs Christiana Oladeji told Vanguard that her family won’t attend Sunday Worship tomorrow because she couldn’t leave her three growing up children of ages 1,3, and 4 at home and attend service.
Meanwhile, virtually all the mosques in Ilorin, Kwara State capital remained under lock on Friday as they were not opened for worship in strict adherence to the directive of Council of Ulamas until the guidelines were reviewed by the government.
The guidelines are members above age 65, should stay away from the mosque, while ablution must be performed at home before coming to the mosque among others.
Muslim faithful in Ilorin, Tunde Olarinoye in his reaction told Vanguard that nobody in his right senses would go for Jumat service because the conditions attached to it are not realisable,” So I just stayed in my house.
He added: “Most of the Imams are over 65, and we are to perform ablution from home, these are tough conditions”.
In its resolutions issued shortly after the council meeting held on Thursday, the Secretary of Council of Ulama, Justice Salihu Olohuntoyin Mohammed (rtd) said, “The conditions released by the state government are very difficult to adhere to based on our peculiarities.”
According to him, “Majority of stakeholders are about the age limit of 65 years listed for non-participation in prayers/jumat service. In Islamic parlance, Imams are the leaders of congregations and the majority of them are within the age bracket of 65 and above.
“We also observed that each of the conditions listed by the government cannot be implemented due to the fact they are very difficult to be enforced strictly. We urge the government to allow Jumat mosques to remain closed in the interim and ensure review of the guidelines.”
The group, therefore, maintained that the actions are taken in line with the safety protocols of the federal government/Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) and advised worshipers to remain law-abiding.