Markets, places of worship remain shut – Kaduna govt.

Nasir-El-Rufai: Kaduna State Governor

The Kaduna State government says it has not reopened markets or places of worship.

Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to the Govenor on Media and Communication, stated this known in a statement issued on Tuesday in Kaduna.

Adekeye said that government has started engaging some business and religious leaders on how to ensure safe re-opening of markets and places of worship, saying that this had not been concluded.

“Until these consultations result in a formal announcement authorising businesses, markets and places of worship to reopen, it will be a violation of subsisting quarantine orders to reopen any unauthorised facility or to conduct congregational worship of any sort,” he said.

Adekeye said that the decision to close places of worship in the state was taken and enforced in March by government, as part of the proclamation of the quarantine orders in the state.

“Kaduna State is not one of the two states and the Federal Capital Territory where the Federal Government imposed lockdown.

“The steps taken to ease such federally-imposed lockdowns in the concerned places should not be construed as the Federal Government relaxing in all states, conditions that it did not impose in the first place.

“Kaduna State has its own well-articulated roadmap for reopening and this was published last week as a public document for the views and inputs of the citizens of the state.

“That is why when it extended the quarantine orders by two weeks on May 26, it also announced steps to ease some of the restrictions.

“These included increasing lockdown-free days to three and allowing approved businesses and facilities to open on those three days,” he said.

According to him, the quarantine extension, announced by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe on May 26, had made clear that schools, places of worship and markets would remain closed under the adjusted orders.

He said that relevant government officials and agencies would be engaging stakeholders, as might be identified from time to time, to discuss the conditions and circumstances for a safe reopening of these sectors.

“Government also maintains the prohibition of interstate and intercity travels.

“Government officials and mobile courts will continue to enforce this ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movements.

“In addition, the nighttime curfew that has been enforced across the state still remains, from 6 pm to 6 am,” the governor’s spokesperson said.

He further reminded the residents that the partial easing of restrictions was being undertaken to ensure that COVID-19 prevention efforts could continue side-by-side with the pursuit of livelihoods.

“It has been a most difficult period for the citizens, with many inconveniences amid the danger of COVID-19, but they are aware that the state has not experienced hundreds of unexplained deaths.

“COVID-19 infections continue to rise due partly to intensive testing, tracing and treatment by our health personnel and largely to the failure of some persons to comply fully with the imposed quarantine restrictions.

“All the sacrifices made by residents of the state demand that the easing of the lockdown be done safely and responsibly.

“Public safety and the protection of human lives remain the sole motivation for the government’s COVID-19 response,” he said.

Adekeye, therefore, appealed to the residents to be patient and collaborate with government to implement a careful, safe and responsible re-opening of the state.