The government of Rivers state, southern Nigeria, on Saturday cancelled the concession granted churches to hold Easter services with full congregation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Nyesom Wike had urged Muslims in the state to observe Jumaat prayers on Friday and Christians to hold services with their full congregation on Easter Sunday.
But the state government has rescinded its decision.
“This decision was taken after due consultations with eminent clergymen, well-meaning Nigerians and civil society groups,” state commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim, said in a statement.
“For the avoidance of doubt, churches should stick to the 50 persons per service to maintain social distancing.”
The government of Rivers rescinded its decision one day after the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, urged all Christians in the country to maintain physical distancing and avoid large crowds.
“We need to pay a short term price for a long term goal and physical distancing is probably the most important tool,” Ihekweazu had said.