Mosques in Ekiti State are to reopen for Jumat services from Friday, after five months of closure as part of measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The state government had set conditions for the reopening of worship centres in the state.
Governor Kayode Fayemi said there would be no multiple services, and services must be concluded within two hours while children below 12 and elderly people above 65 years were to stay away until further notice.
The government also required a register to be provided by each worship centre to record attendance.
“For avoidance of doubt, only Friday Jumat for Muslims, Saturday Sabbath for Adventists and Sunday Services for other Christian denominations are allowed. Weekly and vigil services are not to hold in the meantime,” the governor said.
However, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state has criticised the stringent conditions issued by the state government for reopening of worship houses.
Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti, the CAN Chairman, Peter Olowolafe, said baring people below 12 and above 65 from worship was too strict and could inhibit the smooth take off of churches.
Last week, the governor said churches and mosques had substantially complied with the instruction to provide Covid-19 precautionary facilities.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) in the state said on Thursday that mosques would formally open for prayers, upon certain conditions.
The conditions include fumigation of premises, provision of infrared thermometers, sanitisers, hand washing facilities and strict enforcement of social distancing.
A statement by the NSCIA President, Ekiti chapter, Yakubu Sanni, said investigation by the religious body confirmed that substantial numbers of mosques in the state were ready to reopen.
He said before reopening, the mosques must be fumigated by the state ministry of environment.
Mr Sanni said mosques must also provide infrared thermometers and ensure worshippers sit six feet apart.
“Individuals should come with their own praying mats and ablution kettles, provision of water to wash hands and hand sanitiser,” he said.
“It is advised that anybody besides the Imam above the age of 65 and below the age of 12 should stay away from the mosque.
“The service is expected to start at 1:30 and end at 2:30. Everybody participating in the prayer should wear a nose mask. Number of worshippers in the mosque should be determined by the capacity of the space to contain worshippers standing 6 feet apart.
“It should be ensured that under no circumstances should the worshippers converge to have any meetings or social gathering without maintaining social distancing.
“Mosque management should appoint officials to monitor compliance.
May the Almighty Allah bless us as we observe these rules.”
The state has 193 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus and two deaths recorded so far.
There are 112 active cases, with 79 persons treated and discharged.
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