It was an unusual Easter celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic which has confided worshipers all over the world and, essentially in Abuja. Various worship centers in Abuja have complied to the directives of the federal government and and advice of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to remain at home amdist the lock down so as to contain the spreed of coronavirus.
At the branches of the Mountain Of Fire Church, there were no worshippers except the security personnel guarding the premises. According to the gaurds, everyone was in their various homes celebrating the easter, listening and watching the service on line.
At the Redeemed christian church of God Kubuwa, it was the same situation as services were conducted online just like the Catholic Church Kubuwa, which on a normal day, would have witnessed heavy traffic. The church premises was empty just the security was in the compound and a priest who were inside the church offering prayers to the lord. Lastly the living faith church wasn’t left out as all services were conducted online while food items were shared to members to enable them stay at home and enjoy the festive season.
Following the total lockdown imposed by the State Government to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic, Churches in Kaduna State were on Sunday shut despite the celebration of Easter.
Journalists who went round the state capital, observed that only the security guards of churches were outside the gates to prevent desperate worshippers from gaining entry.
At St. Andrew Catholic Church, Kakuri the security man on duty told our correspondent he has been instructed not to open the church for any worshipper.
According to him: “Yes, it is Easter period but, but the church leadership has instructed me not to open the Church to anyone, except the senior Reverends who may come to do one thing or the other and the woman who comes around to sweep the Church premises.
“This is the third week now the Church has not had service because of coronavirus. We don’t want to endanger the lives of worshippers.” He explained
It would be recalled that the Kaduna State Government had partially closed markets and prohibited all forms of gatherings, including church and mosque congregations.
The Government had threatened any group, church or mosque that violates the order prohibiting gathering of large crowd will have its property demolished, land title revoked and people involved prosecuted.
Some Christians who spoke to our correspondent said, they have been told by their pastors to celebrate Easter at home and pray that, God ends the coronavirus pandemic.
many churches in Kwara state on Sunday conducted online services for Easter.
In Kwara State, Churches complied strictly with Government announcement of a total lockdown from 6pm on April 10 after two comfired cases of COVID-19 in the state.
One of the major churches in the state, the Living Faith Church (LFC) aka Winners Chapel had directed its members to observe the Easter Sunday service at their respective homes, while it admonished members to hook up to the headquarters and watch the service online.
In the same vein, the Supervising Pastor, Pastoral Council of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Worldwide, Ademola Popoola, charged Christians to emulate virtues of humility, perseverance and compassion exhibited by Jesus Christ.
He urged his online congregation to continue to live in peace and harmony with believers in other faiths, adding that good neighbourliness, selflessness and patience were among the lessons taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ.
The Cleric further advised Nigerians to reflect on how best to positively impact the lives of their neighbours and family members through love, kindness and care for one another as the world fights against COVID-19.
Prophet Emmanuel Alonge of the Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Imole, Ogidi Oloje headquarters, Ilorin called On Nigerians to be full of prayers and imbibe Christ-like sacrifices as exemplified by Jesus Christ during the season of Easter.
……KOGI CHURCHES JAM-PACKED
Meanwhile, in contrast to what obtained in other states, most churches in Kogi state were jam-packed for Easter celebration following relaxation of the lockdown order on Sunday.
Governor Yahaya Bello had on Thursday lifted the ban on religious congregations imposed in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Winners Chapel, Phase 1, it was a full house as worshippers thronged the Lokoja church headquarters without any fear of contracting the much-dreaded coronavirus.
At the Catholic Cathedral Lokoja, attendance was more controlled with the entrances along the Hassan Katsina road under strict control.
The Evangelical Church, also in the Lokongoma Phase 1 area, long rows of vehicles on both sides of the road in front of the church premises; attested to the volume of worshippers that braved the Covid-19 lockdown for the Easter Sunday service.
The State government had in its statement, enjoined religious adherents to do so responsibly as they continue to observe social distancing and other personal hygienic practices.
The statement which was signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, also said it was to allow religious bodies have their normal worship and services.
Some residents of the state interviewed, expressed consternation on the decision of the state government to allow massive congregation of worshippers at a time the scourge of the coronavirus was on the increase.
“It is not a time to play to the gallery or seek to please some interests when the general wellbeing of the citizens is at stake” said a respondent who chose to remain anonymous.