By Eyo Akaiso, Uyo.
It was a welcome and joyous moment as faithfuls of Church of Christ Nigeria in Uyo Always Ibom State trouped to the church last Sunday for worship after nine weeks of ban on religious activities in the state.
The service started at 7.00 am dot with men and women spotlessly dressed and in the mood of worship.
Our correspondent reports that by 12 pm the ushers were still at the main entrance in turns with test machine, hand sanitizer, soap and water in compliance with the Akwa Ibom state government directives.
They were there to make sure that everybody, big or small, didn’t miss their attention, should any body among the third and final batch of the day’s worshippers showed symptoms of the dreaded Covid 19 pandemic.
Also the report according to him, has it that every member of the church had his or her face covered with a mask in obedience to the Government directives. Not only did they appear on face masks, they were willing and ready to subject themselves to all Covid 19 safety protocols.
Apart from their faces carrying broad smiles indicating the fact that they were apparently happy to be back to church, some of them were seen gathering in clusters exchanging pleasantries having not met each other in the church for almost three months.
Commenting on the mood of their members, Elder Edet Ayara told our correspondent that “the people were really happy to be back together as a family having been separated that long, no thanks to Coronavirus”.
“So many people have been used to congregating together, so for not meeting for that long their spirit had started to go down. So for the Governor to have permitted us to worship again is a thing of joy for everyone. That is why you see every body being happy and behaving like the time the Appostles received the holy Spirit at the penticost”.
He thanked Governor Emmanuel for the lockdown which he noted prevented people with the virus from other states to enter the state, which is perhaps responsible for the low cases of Covid 19 in Akwa Ibom state.
Ayara therefore appealed to the Governor to lift ban on weddings/ burials, even for one week to enable those who had planned either to wed or bury their dead ones but were stopped by the lockdown order, to go ahead and do so.
“I appeal to the Governor to unlock weddings and burials, even if it means giving us guidelines just like has been given the churches, we will abide provided we are allowed to carry out these two sacred duties.
“Before the lockdown many burials and even weddings were planned, some people went to the extend of producing programs and did a lot more things.
But these could not hold due to Covid 19. Even during the lockdown so many died and are yet to be buried, as I am talking the church has over 20 dead bodies to bury. It is on this premise that we as the church universal, are begging the state government to help us and unlock burials”, he pleaded.
The elder who also pleaded same for the solemnization of marriages, advised youths who are the most affected in this area, not to see the lockdown as an excuse to cohabit but to exercise patience till the lockdown is over.
Our correspondent maintains that saying that the church attained over 90% compliance to Covid 19 protocols is saying the obvious.
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