As religious centres in Ekiti State reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has mandated that individual Muslims should come with personal praying mats and kettles odor for ablution.
The President, NSCIA Ekiti chapter, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, made this known in a statement on Thursday. He said the operations in the Mosque would be done following government instructions on COVID-19 protocol.
Alhaji Sanni confirmed through investigations by the religious body, that a large number of Mosques operating in Ekiti state were ready to reopen.
He, nonetheless, emphasized that only Mosques that met guidelines set by the government would be allowed to operate.
Some of the guidelines include the use of face masks, fumigation of premises, provision of infrared thermometer, provision of hand sanitizer, handwashing facilities, social distancing, and strict compliance with other COVID-19 protocols.
It can be recalled that the Governor of the state, Mr. Kayode Fayemi had on August 6, announced that Religious centres in Ekiti met the provisions of some COVID-19 precautionary measures and were, therefore, permitted to begin operating from Aug. 14.
Alhaji Sanni indicated that those above the age of 65 and below the age of 12, shouldn’t come to the Mosque. He added that the service is expected to commence at 1:30 p.m and end at 2:30 p.m.
In his words, the NSDIA President, Ekiti State said: “Everybody participating in the prayer should wear a nose mask. The number of worshippers in the Mosque should be determined by the capacity of the space to contain worshippers standing six feet apart.
“It should be ensured that under no circumstances should the worshippers converge to have any meetings or social gatherings without maintaining social distancing.”
He encouraged Mosque management to appoint officials who will monitor compliance with the guidelines.
Religious centres in the state had shut down since March and were initially scheduled to reopen effective from July 17 for Muslims, and July 19 for Christians.
Unfortunately, Ekiti State Government had shifted the reopening of places of worship in the state to August 14, following the alleged inability of the worship centres to meet the prescribed conditions for reopening.