The Osun State government on Sunday said it would not allow countdown to New Year ceremonies and cross over nights by religious bodies and groups during the New Year eve.
But in neighbouring Ogun, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged Governor Dapo Abiodun to allow churches to conduct the popular annual event.
Wole Oyebamiji, the Secretary to Osun State Government, in a statement in Osogbo, said the government had directed the security operatives in the state to enforce the directives without exception.
Mr Oyebamiji said that other directives aimed at curbing the spread of the Coronavirus were still in force.
The statement read: “In addition, the ban on youth carnivals still subsists.
“Also, all social clubs, hotels, departmental stores, supermarkets, event centres and allied centres are to henceforth operate at half of their capacities and observe COVID-19 protocols.
“Wearing of face masks at public places is equally compulsory.
“We want to appeal to all residents and citizens to cut down on social gatherings, including weddings, naming ceremonies and funeral ceremonies so as to reduce the spate of exposure and contact with possible carriers visiting the state during the Yuletide.
“Also all towns and cities are to put on hold the annual days through physical attendance and change such to the virtual version.
“We assure all citizens and residents that the Government is insisting on all these measures in their collective interest.
“Therefore, let’s all join hands with the Government to keep Osun safe.”
But in Ogun State, CAN in a letter urged Governor Abiodun to allow churches to conduct the crossover to new year service.
The government had earlier issued a statement cancelling the services in view of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The government stressed the need to avoid spread of the virus through large gatherings at worship centres.
However, CAN in a letter to the governor signed by its chairman in the state, Tunde Akin–Akinsanya, said the religious leaders had resolved to strictly adhere to the coronavirus protocols during the service.
“In view of the second wave of COVID-19 Pandemic and its consequent restrictions on religious activities across the state, there have been so much calls and appeals by the church leaders for the observance of Cross-Over Night on 31st December, 2020″, the letter stated.
“To this end, I hereby write on behalf of the leadership and entire structure of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ogun State, to solicit for the indulgence of Your Excellency to allow for the observance of the Cross-Night among the Churches in Ogun State, just as it is the in our neighbouring Lagos State,” it said.
“It is our plan and request that churches be allowed to start the cross-over night service by 10:30pm on 31st December, 2020 and end it by 12:15am on 1st January, 2021.
“That the worshippers be allowed movement back to their places of abode between 12:15am and 1:00am on 1st January, 2021.
“That the churches shall put in place and observe all the necessary COVID-19 Protocols as released by the government.”
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