The Kaduna State Government says it will not re-open markets or places of worship despite the directive of the Federal Government for the reopening of worship centres nationwide.
The Special Adviser to the state Governor, Muyiwa Adekeye, who disclosed this on Tuesday stated that the decision is to enable the state to battle the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Special Adviser, the government have started engagements with business leaders, community, and religious leaders in order to discuss and agree on the protocols for the safe re-opening of businesses, markets and congregational worship.
He said that the lockdown on Kaduna state was imposed by the state government and not the federal government. At such, the state government would communicate its roadmap for reopening the state when necessary.
He stated: “Kaduna State is not one of the three states and the FCT where the Federal Government imposed a lockdown. The steps taken to ease such federally-imposed lockdowns in the concerned places should not be construed as the Federal Government relaxing in all states conditions that it did not impose in the first place.”
“Kaduna State has its own well-articulated roadmap for reopening, and this was published last week as a public document for the views and inputs of the citizens of the State. That is why when it extended the Quarantine Orders by two weeks on 26th May 2020, it also announced steps to ease some of the restrictions. These included increasing lockdown-free days to three and allowing approved businesses and facilities to open on those three days.”
Adekeye maintained that school, markets, and worship centres are to remain shut until further notice.
He added: “The quarantine extension announced by the Deputy Governor Dr. Hadiza Balarabe on 26th May 2020 made clear that schools, places of worship and markets will remain closed under the adjusted orders.”
“The relevant government officials and agencies will be engaging with religious leaders, transport unions, traditional institutions, market unions, school proprietors and other stakeholders as may be identified from time to time, to discuss the conditions and circumstances for a safe reopening of these sectors.”
The decision to close places of worship in Kaduna State had been taken and enforced in March 2020 by the state government as part of the proclamation of the Quarantine Orders against COVID-19 in the state.
However, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had recently issued a directive for the reopening of businesses, markets and resumption of congregational worship across the nation.