Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has approved that ‘crossover’ night be held in Oyo on Thursday.
Crossover night is a religious event, usually held physically in church premises, on the night of December 31 to usher in a new year.
Many states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Ogun and Ondo, had announced a ban on this year’s crossover night as a preventive measure to check the spread of COVID-19.
This followed an earlier announcement by the federal government declaring a nationwide curfew from 12 midnight to 4 a.m.
The federal government’s directive was aimed at checking the spread of COVID-19 as Nigeria is currently experiencing a second wave of COVID-19, with more infections recorded in December so far than in any other month.
The Christian Association of Nigeria has since asked churches to obey the directive and cancel physical crossover nights or end them well before 12 midnight. Many churches have complied with the directive with some announcing virtual events and others scheduling the event to end before 12 midnight.
Mr Makinde, however, took a different approach Wednesday, announcing the approval of crossover night in the state.
He announced the suspension of the 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. curfew earlier announced by the federal government.
He directed that religious centres be allowed to hold crossover worship services only in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, warned that worship centres must adhere strictly to the advisories and guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
Mr Adisa indicated that the governor gave the directive in a brief endorsed by the head of the Technical Team of the COVID-19 Task Force, Temitope Alonge.
“Following a review of the pronouncement of the Technical Team of the Task Force on COVID-19 in Oyo State on 29th December 2020, His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, FNSE, has magnanimously directed that the 12 midnight to 4 a.m.curfew be lifted.
“The governor has also warned citizens and residents of Oyo State to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines, protocols and advisories as laid down by the OYO State COVID-19 Task Force aimed at limiting the transmission of the disease in our communities.
“Secondly, he has directed that enforcement of these guidelines and protocols in accordance with the law will be applied as appropriate, enjoining individuals and organizations to comply and by so doing ensure that we all spread the joy of this season and not the virus.”
Oyo State is not exempt from the second wave of COVID-19 being experienced across Nigeria.
The state has, so far, recorded about 3,693 COVID-19 cases. Of this figure, about 3,244 people have recovered with 45 fatalities recorded.
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