*stresses full adherence to COVID-19 protocols
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
President of HEKAN Church, Rev. Amos G. Kiri while authorizing opening of churches in Kaduna and other states, has called for adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
He expressed this in a speech delivered on August 22, titled, “The Lifting Of The Restrictions On Daily Church Programmes In Kaduna State”.
“Like I said, Kaduna state Government has lifted the restrictions on daily activities.
*I am therefore using this medium on behalf of the leadership of the Church to officially authorize the resumption of daily and weekly activities by all our Churches in Kaduna and other states where similar band has been lifted.
“This means that apart from Sunday worship, mid week prayers, Friday Bible studies and practices by all sub-groups in the Church are free to resume from Monday 24th August 2020.
“However, all leaders are to ensure that the stipulated guidelines are followed.
“All the needed items-water container, soap, infra ray thermometer etc are available at the entrance of each Church.
“Anybody coming to the Church without a facemask should be politely asked to get one and wear it or go back home,” he said.
He assured that while they are happy that the restriction has been lifted, they shall continue to witness the adherence to the guidelines.
Speaking with the theme, “Now is the time of God’s favour…” (2Corinthians 6:2), he appreciated all for their understanding all through the restrictions.
“I want to start by appreciating God Almighty for his love and care over us. I profoundly appreciate you all, HEKAN family, for your understanding, patience and support in spite of devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
“Dear People of God Nothing in this life happens accidental. The scripture says, “There is time for everything, and season for every activity under heaven” Now is the time (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Yesterday, Friday 21st August 2020, the Government of Kaduna state under the leadership of His Excellency, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai lifted the restrictions imposed on daily worships by religious groups in Kaduna State,” he said.
He attributed the lifting to the result of prayers and pleas by religious leaders for the reconsideration of the restrictions.
“We thank God that the government has listened to the yearnings of its people and finally lifted the restrictions.
*This is a welcome development. The lifting of the restrictions comes with its rules and regulations also. This is so because COVID-19 is still here with us.
“The Government warned that ‘’places of worship that persistently fail to comply with the guidelines may be closed, to protect the worshippers and the public.’’ Therefore we must adhere strictly to the guidelines. All of us must take responsibility be ensuring that we do the right thing at the right time,” he said.
On the roles individuals can play in mitigating the spread of the virus, he said it requires collective efforts.
“I need not remind all of you that each and every one of us has a vital role to play in curtailing the spread of corona virus pandemic (COVID-19).
“Most of you have been obeying the rules and regulations since the beginning of the lockdown.
“We urge you to continue doing that. The role in mitigating the spread of the virus lies on the shoulder of each of us. Government or Church cannot do it alone.
“Therefore, let me remind you of the simple roles you have to play: Wear your facemask Wash your hands with soap and water Maintain social distance Avoid crowded area As much as possible eat immune-boosting Diets,” he advised.
Kiri reminded that the COVID-9 task force of the state government is always going round visiting worship places to ensure strictness to the guidelines.
“No Church and Church member should allow himself /herself to be found wanting.
“We on our part will not also relent on our oars in maintaining the rules. Every DCC and LCC should also form her monitoring team to ensure that the guidelines are followed to the letter,” he added.
He used the medium to commend clergies who did their best in ensuring that the guidelines were strictly followed.
“We urge you to take the responsibly of ensuring that COVID-19 guidelines are strictly followed. Ensure that both leaders and the led follow the guidelines, there should be no exception,” he warned.
HEKAN President said that he is aware that some states like Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, etc., are still under restrictions of daily activities, urging all to be obedient to Government decisions.
“Do not open if the restrictions are still on. We are trusting God that sooner than later, you will also have the opportunity to continue normal Church activities. Nothing last forever, it will soon be over,” he warned.
On conventions/conferences, he reminded that the restriction on many people gathering in one place is still on.
“Therefore DCCs and Subgroups that have not yet held their Annual conventions/conferences and are interested in holding it should obey the rules of maintaining social distances,” he charged, adding that holding these conventions/conferences should be discussed thoroughly with the church leadership at all levels before embarking on the programme.
He further commended all their clergies, lay leaders and all sub-group members for obeying and respecting the church leadership.
“I urge you to continue in this zeal. Remember that “Obedience is better than sacrifice” Whenever the Church building is locked; the real “Church” (which is the human heart) is not locked,”
“Keep worshiping God in every situation, in season and out of season. Let us not give the devil the chance by been negligent in our responsibilities. Take your responsibilities seriously.God bless you all,” he concluded.