GOMBE/News Investigators/ Following persistent calls for worship centres to reopen for congregational prayers, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has met with religious leaders in the state, where he requested for their commitment to strict observance of social distancing and other preventive protocols as pre-condition to lift ban on congregations.
Mr. Yahaya, while addressing religious leaders from the two major faiths of Islam and Christianity, said the move to seek for the counsel of the religious leaders on social distancing at places of worship was in furtherance of his administration’s commitment to expanding the frontiers of inclusiveness and democratic practice.
The Governor said his administration’s decision to ban all social, cultural and religious gatherings in the state was to prevent community spreading of coronavirus and not to deny anyone from performing their prayers at mosques or churches.
While reeling out some of his administration’s modest efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, Governor Yahaya said his government had before the index cases in Gombe, ordered the closure of all entries into the State. This, the Governor said was in addition to the provision of a one hundred and fifty capacity bed isolation Centre in Kwadon and another fifty bed isolation centre at the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe.
He said his administration has also established an Intensive Care Unit fully equipped with Ventilators, oxygen concentrators and other facilities for treatment of severe covid-19 cases and also paid for the supply of a Polymerase Chain Reaction PCR machine for the testing of individuals perceived to be carrying the Coronavirus.
Governor Yahaya said he had earlier resisted the imposition of total lockdown in the state and opted for a dusk to dawn curfew instead in order not to add to the economic hardship already being felt by the citizenry.
He said as Governor of Gombe State he has taken an oath to protect the lives, property and dignity of the people, describing steps so far taken by his administration to contain the Coronavirus as rational and for the collective good and over all interest of the people.
Meanwhile, no position was taken at the parley due to time constraints, but the government had asked the religious leaders to take a collective stand, in collaboration with the security agencies and relevant officials on the matter and quickly give feedback to enable government announce an agreed position.