Some Abakaliki residents on Thursday commended Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State for lifting the ban on religious activities in the state partially ahead of the Easter celebration.
Recall that the Ebonyi State Government, earlier in the month, had announced a temporary ban on religious and other social activities as part of measures to curb the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 in the state.
However, at an extraordinary State Executive Council meeting on Wednesday presided by Umahi, the government announced the partial lifting of the ban on religious, burial and other social activities in the state.
The gesture, according to government, was to allow Christians in the state to join their counterparts all over the world to celebrate the feast of Easter, which is used to mark the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Residents, who spoke to NAN in Abakaliki, apart from applauding the decision, also commended the Governor for approving N1 billion intervention fund to cushion the effect of the sit at home order on vulnerable citizens.
Sunday Nwanunu, a Deacon in the Living Faith Church, described the government’s decision as a “bold” step, lauding Umahi for heeding appeals made by Christian leaders to government in that regard.
Nwanunu said: “Easter is the foundation of Christianity and its celebration is very significant in Christendom.
“Umahi has demonstrated once again that he is a listening governor and also a true believer.
“By this action, Christians can have an unrestricted worship at their various denominations on Easter Sunday, which marks the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour and also the birth of the ‘Church age’ as we know.
“I urge leaders of the various Churches to observe the safety precautions and directives that government has issued, because they are for our good and well being.”
He also advised that the palliative announced by government should not be hijacked by politicians.
Nwanunu appealed to those that would be responsible in the distribution of the relief materials to ensure that they got to the target population.
Also reacting, Isaac Mbam, a member of the Catholic faith, commended the state government for suspending the ban on religious activities, describing the measure as a relief to Christians.
Mbam said: “Easter is the holiest and most important celebration in the Christian faith, which highlights the love of God for mankind and the supreme sacrifice Jesus made to redeem man and reconcile him back to God.
“I am glad that the governor listened to the appeal of Christian leaders in the state and partially lifted the ban so that we can worship freely on Easter Sunday.”
Mbam said Christians would use the opportunity to pray and seek God’s mercy and intervention on the Coronavirus scourge.
Another resident, eronica Onwe, commended Umahi for the various strategic moves made by his administration to contain the disease and prevent it from entering the state.
She appealed that the government’s palliatives should be fairly distributed to cushion the effect of the restriction order.
“I appeal that the process is transparent and items made to reach target population, ” Onwe said.