Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Abia State Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 yesterday sealed a
new generation church (Chapel of Answers International Church),
located at No. 86 Jubilee road by Kent Street in Aba, Abia State.
The committee had visited the commercial city following reports that
people and organizations were not complying with government directives
to contain the spread of the virus.
When the committee arrived the church, members of the church were seen
holding meeting without observing any of the COVID-19 protocol as
given by WHO and NCDC.
Equally, the committee led by the Secretary to the State Government
(SSG)/chairman, state COVID-19 committee, Chris Ezem also sealed an
electrical plaza opposite the Ariaria International Market.
Speaking after the exercise, Ezem said that the church and electrical
plaza were sealed for violating the COVID-19 protocol and guidelines.
The SSG who was not pleased with what he met on ground at the Ariaria
international market when the team visited that market threatened to
shut it down if the traders and the leadership of the market fail to
comply with the government directives on COVID-19 protocols.
According to him, the scenario at Ariaria shows the ineffectiveness of
the leadership of the market and members of the COVID-19 task force in
ensuring that the guidelines on the reopening of the market was
strictly adhered to by the traders and shop owners.
He also frowned at the unhygienic nature of the market where some
traders displayed some edibles on the road, making vehicular movement
in the market difficult.
“We are not doing anything that is out of place. Government directives
and protocols of religious worship are very explicit. Government
directives are that religious worshippers can worship on Sundays; 50
persons per stream, two persons per pew and observe social distance
and other protocols.
“We made it clear that there should be no mid-week activities. Lagos
State just withdrew from the opening churches and Mosques because of
the events that are unfolding”.
He warned that government would not allow few individuals to risk the
lives of Abians, adding that government was making every effort to
ensure that the people are safe.
Eze ordered for the prosecution of aan assistant pastor of the church
that was sealed.
The commissioner for Information said government was not happy with
the attitude to residents of the state particularly Aba as it concerns
obeying the laid down directives to check the pandemic.
He said it was disheartening that despite the number of persons
infected on daily basis, some people still believe the virus does not
exist and opined that the task force would continue to arrest and
prosecute defaulters until they come to terms with the present