Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State on Friday suspended the planned opening of religious places in the state.
Abiodun announced the suspension at a press conference in Abeokuta.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government had placed a ban on religious centres as part of the efforts at flattening the curve of the COVID-19.
The governor recalled that he recently met with the religious leaders and had considered to lift the ban on the religious centres effective Friday (today).
He, however, said that community transmission of the coronavirus had been on the increase due to the low compliance level of the people to the guidelines put in place by the government to flatten the curve of the pandemic.
Abiodun, therefore, directed that all churches and mosques in the state should remain shut.
He said: “Regrettably, in spite of the spirited efforts of the government to create awareness about the deadly nature of the pandemic and the guidelines in place to flatten the curve of the spread, the compliance level of our people is still very much below expectation.
“Many are yet to appreciate that there is a new normal that demands a new way of life that is not optional and is also an individual responsibility in the final analysis.
“I wish to emphasise that the figures of the dead from COVID-19 related complications or the sick may appear to many as just mere statistics, but to those who are directly impacted, these are not just numbers.
“The challenge posed by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic is multi-faceted.
“Apart from the generally known facts that there are no vaccine or cure yet, the trajectory of the spread of the virus is also a moving target, despite the best efforts at arresting the spread of this highly infectious and deadly enemy.
“One key lesson is that those who relaxed the restrictions too early are paying dearly and hurriedly re-imposing even tougher measures than those lifted prematurely.
“Unfortunately, the consequences for the hasty decision are human lives that could have been saved or ailments that could have been avoided.”
The governor said that existing guidelines to combat COVID-19 in the state would continue.
Abiodun, who noted that commercial motorcyclists were fond of flouting the law, stressed that they were allowed to carry only one passenger.
He warned that the government would not hesitate to ban them from operating in Ogun State if the act continued.
The governor also threatened to arrest and prosecute operators of viewing centres and their clients if they opened for business.
He gave assurance that the government would continue to monitor situation and developments with a view to reviewing and adjusting the guidelines accordingly.