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Coronavirus: Gov. Ortom makes u-turn on re-opening of churches, mosques, Benue markets

BENUE, Nigeria – Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has rescinded the order allowing churches and mosques in the State to reopen for religious activities.

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Ortom announced the cancellation of the order on Saturday in Makurdi during the weekly news briefing on activities of the Covid-19 Quick Response Team, NAN reports.

He explained that the decision to revert to status quo was based on the apprehension expressed by the Federal Government over decisions by some state governments to reopen religious activities.

According to him, “as a state that is a component of the federal government, we cannot take decisions that go against the expressed standing of the federal government.”

He said the federal government, as the custodian of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), had all the needed information on the viral infection and how to contain its spread.

He, therefore, sued for understanding from the Benue people over the decision to rescind the order allowing religious activities.

”You need to be alive before you can worship,” he said.

He said he had already made consultations with relevant stakeholders, including leaders of Christian Association of Nigeria and Jamatu Nasiru Islam on the matter.

Ortom also announced that Mrs Elizabeth Apedzan, a former federal lawmaker, who tested positive for Covid-19 had been discharged.

He, therefore, appealed to those with symptoms similar to that of Covid-19 to avail themselves for testing.

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