Wike in one of the churches

By Okafor Ofiebor

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Sunday monitored the compliance of Churches to the directive of not holding services of with 50 people and ensuring social distancing.

After the monitoring exercise, he expressed appreciation to the Christian faithful across Rivers State for complying with the directive of maintaining social distance during church service to check the spread of coronavirus.

Addressing journalists after he led the TaskForce on enforcement of the ban on public and religious gatherings to monitor compliance on Sunday, Wike said that the churches ensured that each service had about 50 worshippers as agreed during the meeting at Government House, Port Harcourt.

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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.

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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 shutdown 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.”

Wike had met with religious leaders at the Government House, Port Harcourt where it was resolved that no Church Service should exceed 50 persons.

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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.”