From Fred Itua, Abuja
After scoring the churches high on compliance with COVID-19 protocol, government officials were Sunday tasked to practice what they preach, by adhering to the guidelines at all functions, including political campaigns and others.
Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), FCT Chapter and Senior Pastor, ECWA Good News, Maitama, Samson Jonah, took government functionaries to this task while speaking to newsmen during an inspection tour of his church by men of the FCT COVID-19 Enforcement Team.
He said: “We talked to ourselves that compliance should be very high during this second wave because of how dangerous and deadly the virus is.
“But above all, we are saying that as we continue to comply let’s also see the government functionaries doing the same thing, because leadership should be by example.
“We don’t need an angel to tell us how dangerous the virus is so we summoned our pastors and talked to them, we disseminated a lot of information and text messages and told them to ensure total compliance.
“We as the clergy are helping, sensitising and talking to the people. We should also see a high level of compliance when it comes to other gatherings besides the church setting, for instance, campaigns, weddings and so on.
“When you become a leader, the things you do, people will like to copy you; more than what you say. So we want to see that replicated at the higher level. Because knowing the right thing and doing it is most important.”
The CAN chairman who prayed God to “give us victory in the second wave” of spread of the deadly virus, warned all Christians and residents to comply with necessary protocol, adding that none should call him if he or she gets into trouble with the Taskforce over non-compliance with the guidelines.
He also appealed to all Christian faithful to ensure that they stayed away from anything crime.
Chairman of the Taskforce, Attah Ikharo, who led the inspection tour of churches to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols, expressed satisfaction “very very high compliance” by all the churches visited within the City Centre.
Ikharo explained that because of short timing by worship centres, his team could not go to the suburb to monitor compliance.
He revealed: “What we have heard from the satellite towns is also very encouraging, but what we are hearing from the far interior may not be encouraging, but at least, you see some people wearing a few face masks there.
“But from what we have seen, the churches largely complied. They have washing points, sanitizers, temperature scanners and are maintaining physical distancing inside, and the worshippers are all wearing face masks. Even while dancing, it’s been done carefully and are singing with their masks on.”
Ikharo also called on all mosques to comply with the guidelines give by NCDC, vowing to pay inspection visit and ensure appropriate enforcement.
Speaking on challenges associated with the COVID-19 enforcement exercise in the FCT, Ikharo decried the level of sleeplessness of his men, hoping that residents would comply without being forced to do it so that they would also celebrate with their families.
Other churches the taskforce visited and scored high over compliance with COVID-19 protocol were the Central Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Wuse 2, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, First Baptist Church, Area 11, Garki and ECWA Good News Church, Maitama.