Christians in Anambra, amidst closure of churches due to COVID-19 induced measures, observed the Easter festivities on a low key, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The NAN Correspondent, who monitored level of compliance by Christian faithful on Sunday in Awka, observed that there was no Easter church service in Awka and its environs.
Mrs Victoria Nwosu, an Anglican faithful at the Church of the Pentecost Awka, however, told NAN that she was low spirited for not going to church, as it was customary during every other Easter period.
She said, as a retired teacher, that she had never experienced Easter celebration in a manner as this particular one.
Nwosu said that she was optimistic that God would shield residents of the state from the global pandemic, as God promised in Bible book of Psalm 91.
She expressed sadness in celebrating the Easter in the usual manner of making delicious dishes for the family since the joy of communion was denied the church.
“The situation on ground calls for more reflection on the words of God and time of sober reflection, we need to seek God’s face so He can heal our land,” she said
Mrs Rosemond Anagor, a Catholic faithful, said that the news of COVID-19 suspects on April 10 marred the 2020 Easter Celebration.
She said that the government banned the church service for Easter as a result of the report of the virus in the state through a man who entered the state from Lagos State.
“I’m not celebrating this Easter, because we are living in the fear of COVID-19, our joy of the resurrection of Christ was dampened,” she said.
NAN reports that most churches visited were locked and nobody was seen around the premises for worship.
However, in a related development, NAN reports that some of the markets in the capital city were yet to comply fully with the directive of total shutdown by the government.
The Eke Awka, Nkwo Amaenyi and Ifite markets were all in full service attending to their numerous customers as usual, without heed to the total shutdown directives.
Mrs Kenechukwu Okoye, a fruit seller told NAN that she wanted to see if her wares would be sold out so as not to incur so much loss.
Okoye said that after she had bought her items from a local market in the state, the news of shutdown was given and was left with no option than to sell off at a giveaway price.
“I am a petty trader and I cannot afford to see my items waste, because they were perishable and will spoil if I stand back; I am even losing money because I am selling in a price and take market,” she said.
Mr Ifeanyi Agu, a meat seller said that the directive was ill-timed and urged government to relax the total shutdown before people would start to die due to hunger and lack of money.
“Government is putting so much panic on this virus issue, I went to Nigerian war and survived, we will also survive this COVID-19,” he said.
Mrs Ginika Nwoye, a tomato seller, said that they were going to be most affected if the lockdown continued because their items were perishable.
Nwoye said that if people do not come out to buy, it would be a huge economic waste to her so she decided to come out to sell to willing buyers.
“Food sellers and medicine stores are to open to attend to needs of the people because of its nature of essential service to the public, the directives was not well thought,” she said
NAN reports that the streets of the city were lonely with security operatives on strategic points.
Mr Cee Don Adinuba, Anambra Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, told NAN that the total shutdown was not to witch hunt any residents, but to safe guard lives of the people from contracting COVID-19.
Adinuba appealed to the residents to abide by the new directives and make the little sacrifice to support the government directives.
NAN reports that Anambra government had on April 11 declared a total shutdown in the state as result of one COVID-19 incident recorded in the state on April 10. (NAN)