The Imo State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria has pleaded the state government to allow Christians to conduct Easter services on Sunday.
CAN leaders made the request on Tuesday at their secretariat in Owerri when they met with the Committee on COVID 19.
CAN chairman in the state, Apostle Godson Obeji, said Easter celebration is the most essential in Christendom and the faithful in the state should be allowed to observed services to commemorate the death and ascension of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Titus Akanabu, who chairs the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in the state, said the government could ask church leaders to maintain social distancing while conducting the services.
The Anglican Bishop of Ohaji/Egbema Diocese, Chidi Oparaojiaku, said the government would be doing a huge disservice to the Christian community in the state if it didn’t allow it to conduct Easter services.
The committee which is headed by a former national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Maurice Iwu, promised to take their concerns to the state Governor, Hope Uzodinma, explaining, however, that the state government declared the lockdown in the state to ensure the state was free of coronavirus.
He said, “It will be foolish to depend solely on our intellect. We depend on God. Spiritually, we believe he is the all knowing. All knowledge comes from God. We have a war in our hands because coronavirus is strange to us, a situation we don’t properly understand.
“Coronavirus passes through fluid. Social distancing is ideal. Scrubbing the floor and washing of hands with soap and water and making use of hand sanitisers are highly recommended.
“The best way to fight coronavirus is to avoid it. What happened in Italy is a big lesson to the world. If it happens to people who are not prepared, there would be bigger problem. You could imagine what will happen if it comes to us that do not have good health-care system, no electricity.”
He added, “We are learning from other people’s experience because we do not have the solution. That is why there is a lockdown in Imo. We understand the people’s plight but to save lives is more important. There should be relief, some forms of help to people. There are palliatives but not solutions.
“There is a difference between religiosity and Christianity. Don’t tell people that they are no longer Christians because they are not going to church. This season shall also pass over. Whatever happens will be to the absolute glory of God. We saved the lives of many people by shutting Fancy Hotel. We are doing our work in a deliberate manner.”