The Kaduna State government has arrested two Islamic clerics for violating the restriction order imposed by the state government to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Aminu Umar Usman and Umar Shangel were arrested in Malali and Ungwan Kanawa communities of Kaduna North Local Government Area for holding congregational prayers.
Their conduct violated government orders as well as advice given by leaders of faith.
According to a statement by the state commissioner of internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the clerics violated the order not to organise religious gathering including Juma’at prayers.
The two Imams held Juma’at prayers despite the consequences.
Meanwhile, all other mosques in the state obeyed the stay at home order, the release added.
Kaduna State has imposed a total lockdown in the state to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the state.
About 89 people have so far contracted the disease in Nigeria across 11 states.
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to commend citizens that are abiding by the terms of the quarantine imposed on the state as a preventive measure against Covid-19.
“The state government is especially grateful to religious and community leaders who have joined in appealing to the public to abide by public health warnings. We thank the media for amplifying the message of prevention and the security agencies that are enforcing the extraordinary measures.
“However, government has also sadly noted that certain individuals, including clerics, are violating the restriction of movement, large gatherings, trading and congregational prayers. This is patently illegal and irresponsible conduct at a time that requires sober and rational conduct to protect our people from coronavirus,” it said.
It said the state government arrested two clerics for conducting congregational prayers on Friday, March 27 in two communities.
“Malam Aminu Umar Usman and Malam Umar Shangel were arrested in Malali and Ungwan Kanawa communities of Kaduna North Local Government Area for holding congregational prayers. Their conduct violated government orders as well as advice given by leaders of faith.They will be prosecuted accordingly.
“Government wishes to reiterate that it expects compliance with the quarantine orders and will continue to enforce them. Anyone who decides to jeopardy (jeopardise) their prestige and social standing by wanton violation of orders made to protect public welfare and good health can expect a firm response.”