President Muhammadu Buhari’s homestate Katsina lifts social distancing order for Muslim prayers at mosques on Friday

President Muhammadu Buhari’s homestate of Katsina has lifted with immediate effect the social distancing order imposed on the state to beat the coronavirus pandemic for Muslims to congregate at mosques on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the lifting of the suspension was announced by the Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa, in a statement made on Tuesday in Katsina.

“Following a meeting held today between the Katsina state government, religious leaders, traditional rulers and security agents to review some measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

“The Executive Governor has directed that the suspension of Friday prayers be lifted with immediate effect; however, the prayers will be conducted under some stipulated health and security guidelines.

“The Jumu’at Imams should, however, avoid prolonged sermons in order to discharge their followers within the shortest period.

“People are also strongly advised to maintain social distancing and adhere strictly to all the rules and regulations provided by the health experts in fighting the contagious disease,” he said.

The Katsina govt had banned religious gatherings two weeks ago and President Muhammadu Buhari banned all movements in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun state.

NAN reported after religious gatherings were banned in Katsina two weeks ago an Imam was later arrested for flouting the directive.

The youth in the state protested, attacked and burned down a police station.

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Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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