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The Standard Gazette
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Gov Ortom Backtracks, Shuts Worship Centres

The Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has backtracked on his earlier decision to reopen churches and mosque in the state. 

In what appears to be a  U-turn on Saturday, he has announced that worship centres, markets, and other public places remained shut. 

He had on Thursday lifted the ban on churches and mosques and directed that they should reopen for staggered worship while also ordering that markets be fully reopened.

Samuel Ortom
Samuel Ortom

However, while briefing journalists at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital, Ortom redirected the closure of worship centres adducing his new directive to the advice of the Federal Government and that of religious bodies against the reopening of worship centres and other public places. 

“We are a component part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and we appreciate the fact that the Federal Government is the custodian of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and they are informed about what is going on, and so we must subject ourselves to their decision in accordance with laws of the land.

“We do not want to endanger the lives of our people. In the event of any challenge concerning this pandemic, the next port of call will be the Federal Government, so we cannot kick against its advice. We feel that the advice is genuine. If we took a decision and we have this kind of advice that is genuine and meant to support the health of our people, we have no reason whatsoever to go ahead with the decision we earlier took .

“Therefore, on behalf of the State Executive Council, I hereby reverse the lifting of the ban on churches and mosques services and prayers.“We have reverted to the status quo where churches, mosques, and other public places like markets were closed,” he said.

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