The Oyo State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has recommended multiple services in all churches in the state.
This, it said, was in order to fulfill the state government’s conditions on reopening of worship houses after the shutdown occasioned by COVID-19.
Speaking with journalists in Ibadan on Thursday, the new Oyo State CAN Chairman, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju, listed other measures recommended to include use of facemasks and gloves as well as setting up of handwashing points.
He said: “We appreciate the concern of the state government, likewise the efforts of Governor Makinde toward driving the notorious pandemic out of the state.
“While appreciating the governor for allowing churches to worship at 25 per cent capacity, Christians must endeavour to abide by all the government’s guidelines to that effect.
“We should remember that the Bible enjoins us in Hebrew 13:17, to obey those that have the rule over us.
“Now that government has lifted ban on religious centres with few conditions attached, it behoves on us as religious leaders to ensure absolute compliance to protect government from being blamed for its leniency.
“Our recommendation is every worship centre with great number of worshipers should adopt multiple services to enable us observe physical distancing.
” Churches can run more than three services in a day, but hours per service must be reduced.”
Other measures, according to Akinyemiju, include use of face masks by every member throughout the service period and observation of hand washing before entering the church and after the service.
“Alternatively, a pair of hand gloves should be handed to every member before entering the church, and removed after stepping out of the church.
“The gloves must be gathered outside the church and burnt immediately, hand sanitiser is equally good and to be used by every member before and after service.
“It is necessary to add here that there are some churches that won’t find it easy to control crowd; in such situation, we advise that services should be suspended for this moment to save lives of worshipers.
“It is only the living that serves God, special care should be provided for those above 50 years and children below 18 years.
“We shall be updating members as we receive more information from the state government, NCDC and WHO on the novel coronavirus pandemic.
”We pray God Almighty to bestow His mercy upon us and purify our nation and the rest of the world with the blood of Jesus,” Akinyemiju said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Oyo State Government recently announced that churches and mosques could reopen.
It, however, directed that they must operate at not more than 25 per cent capacity to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Atiku Support Groups congratulate Obaseki
The All Atiku Support Groups (ASGs), has congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as the governor of Edo on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group Chairman, Mr Fabiyi Oladimeji, in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja said Obaseki’s convincing victory was due to the resilience and steadfastness of the people of Edo State who did not give room for any manipulation by undemocratic forces.
“Nothing can be more dignifying than the stance and resolve of the good people of Edo for what they truly believed in.
“The good people of Edo state have demonstrated dexterity and spoken very loudly against god fatherism, against arrogance in power just as they have voted for progress and prosperity.”
Oladimeji commended the courage of Obaseki, his deputy, the State campaign council under the leadership of Chief Dan Orbih and all leaders of note in Edo State, Oladimeji said.
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for maintaining neutrality in the election.
“We understand there cannot be perfection in any electoral process, but INEC by its conduct in the just concluded Edo election has shown that it is possible if we all decided to do what is right.”
Oladimeji said that the group would not take the role played by the security agencies in ensuring the smooth running of the elections for granted.
He said that although there was a full contingent of officers of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies on ground, no recorded cases of intimidation or harassment of voters were recorded during the election.
He also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the good people of Edo to have their say and way.
“Democratic process demands that people should be allowed to freely elect their choices, as democracy is all about the people.”
Oladimeji commended the doggedness of the Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council, Gov. Nyesom Wike, his Colleagues, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and all the National campaign council.
He also commended Atiku Abubakar for his timely intervention and support, as well as the Edo State Chapter of ASGs for mobilising voters for Obaseki’s re-election.
Oladimeji appealed to all stakeholders in the PDP to embrace the same strategy adopted and apply same during the upcoming Ondo Governorship election, Lagos senatorial by-election and Anambra governorship election.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Health workers suspend 7-day nationwide warning strike
Members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), have suspended their seven-day nationwide warning strike.
Mr Josiah Biobelemoye, JOHESU National Chairman, made this known in a statement at the end of its expanded National Executive Council meeting on Sunday in Abuja.
Biobelemoye directed all members of the union to resume work by Sept. 21 and also await further directives.
The union demands included disparity in the payment of hazard and inducement allowances to workers in the frontline containing the spread of COVID-19 among others.
“This is to bring to your notice that the 7-day nationwide warning strike embarked upon by the members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) would come to an end midnight of today, Sept. 20.
“By this notice, all health workers under the five Unions that make up Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) shall return to work on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 across all Federal Health Institutions in the country.
“However, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has continued to exhibit high level of bias/discrimination by refusing to address the demands of our members as presented by JOHESU within the seven days of the warning strike as was done to other bodies in the health sector.
“The next line of action would be decided in due course by the expanded National Executive Council of JOHESU.”
He also alleged that rather than call JOHESU for dialogue to resolve the trade dispute, the Federal Government resorted to intimidation and blackmail of the union leaders using all forms of instruments and faceless organisations.
He further said that JOHESU would continue to use all legitimate means to defend the rights and demands for the welfare of its members in the health sector.
“Nigerians should bear us witness that JOHESU has shown high patriotism by demanding that public health system in Nigeria is sustained and adequately financed for effective, efficient and affordable healthcare service delivery.
“In view of the above and in line with the resolution of the expanded NEC meeting held physically and virtually today, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, I hereby declare that the seven days warning strike is suspended.
“All our members are directed to resume work by Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 while awaiting further directives.
“Finally, I wish to thank all the leaders at all strata and members for their commitment, selflessness, cooperation and resilience during the seven days warning strike,” he said.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Felix Ajide
Kiriji War: Leaders to celebrate 134 years of Yoruba unity
A coalition of Yoruba groups, prominent monarchs and leaders of thought will converge in Ibadan on Wednesday to celebrate 134 years of peace and unity in Yorubaland after the Kiriji War.
The Kiriji War, also known as the Ekiti-Parapo War, was a 16-year-long civil war between the Yoruba people where all the sub-ethnic groups either supported the Ibadan or the Ekiti.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the war came to an end on Sept. 23, 1886, which marked the beginning of unification of Yoruba Land as one.
Prof. Banji Akintoye, Convener of the event and President-General of Yoruba World Congress (YWC), said in a statement that Sept. 23 will now be celebrated as Yoruba National Day annually.
Akintoye said prominent Yoruba monarchs and warrior families would on Tuesday revisit the battlefields in Igbajo and Imesi Ile, Osun, and Oke Imesi Ekiti to pour libations and dedicate foundation stone to peace in Yoruba Land.
The YWC leader described the event as a reawakening and restoration of Yoruba history and culture.
He said that Afenifere Chieftain, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu of Yoruba Unity Forum, Justice Ademola Bakare (Rtd), Chairman, Yoruba Council of Elders, and Prof. Adetoun Ogunseye, National Council for Yoruba Women were among eminent Yoruba leaders of thought that would grace the occasion.
According to him, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, are among prominent Yoruba monarchs expected at the ceremony.
“The purpose of the two-day ceremony is to unite the people of Yoruba Land towards achieving prosperity and development.
” The Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji, Owa Ooye of Imesi Ile, Oba Ademola Akinyemi, the Owa of Igbajo and Oba Adeniyi Fashade, are the Chief Hosts of the event in their various communities on Sept. 22.
“The traditional rulers would also converge to address the Yoruba people at Okemesi, Ekiti, Igbajo and Imesi Ile in Osun, respectively, where the war started and where the peace treaty that marked the end of the war, was signed.
“The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji who is the Chief Host, would celebrate the day on Sept. 23 in Ibadan,” he said.
According to Akintoye, all the first class Yoruba traditional rulers from Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Kogi, Kwara, Edo, Oyo and Lagos States would be in attendance for the anniversary.
He urged all Yoruba sons and daughters worldwide to make their presence felt at the events, both physically and morally.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Wale Ojetimi
Survival Fund: FG releases registration schedule as portal opens Monday
As the portal for the registration of prospective beneficiaries for the Survival Fund opens on Monday, the Federal Government has released the timetable for categories of businesses to register.
A statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the Project Delivery Office stated that the portal which opens at 10 PM, will have educational institutions as the first category of beneficiaries to register.
“Nigerians interested in the Payroll Support scheme are to note that the site for registration will be open from 10 pm Monday September 21, 2020.
“In order to ensure seamless registration process, the Project Delivery Office (PDO) has designed a registration schedule.
“Registration for Payroll Support will start with educational institutions on Monday and will be followed with businesses in the hospitality industry on Friday September 25 beginning from 12 A.M.
“The portal will also be open to other category of small businesses from 12 A.M., on Monday September 28, 2020,” the statement said.
The office therefore advised those interested in benefiting from the fund to take note of the schedule and also log on to http://www.survivalfund.ng to register for the payroll support initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the survival fund is a conditional grant to support vulnerable Micro and Small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in MSMEs from the shock of the COVID– 19 pandemic.
The scheme is estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country, while targeting an average of 35,000 individuals per state.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz