Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Osun State Government has on Tuesday reversed its decision cancelling cross over service in the state as it announced new guidelines permitting cross over religious gatherings across the state
The state government had earlier directed that there should be no countdown to new year ceremonies or cross over services under any guise, as part of its measures at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. While the State branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN intensify effort to get the state to change its stance on the directive.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode, the state government said its sensitivity to the mood of the season has necessitated a review of its earlier position.
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It, therefore, announced fresh guidelines for the conduct of cross over services, adding that security operatives have been directed to strictly enforce the guidelines.
The statement read in part: “The government of the State of Osun has decided to allow cross over religious gatherings, being sensitive to the mood of the season.
“But any organisation holding cross over service must note that they are expected to close the service early and everyone must be off the streets by 1:00 am.
“Security operatives have been given the directive to enforce this guideline. Religious bodies and citizens are therefore advised to comply because we do not want anyone to spend the first day of the year in police custody.
“Also, the leadership of religious bodies must ensure strict adherence to safety protocols, which include accommodating only 50 per cent capacity of their normal attendance, ensuring social distancing, use of nose mask or face fields by participants, avoidance of sharing materials and instruments and avoidance of any other action that can help the virus to spread.
“The government wishes everyone a prosperous year ahead but wants all of us to do what is right to keep the peace, safety and health of the State and its citizens.
“Let us be our brothers’ keeper and avoid actions that may put the safety of others in jeopardy. Obedience is better than sacrifice”, the statement read.