Churches in Akwa Ibom State may have to wait a little while before they are allowed to resume services public. The Governor of Akwa Ibom State offered an explanation on May 9 in a phone-in radio interview in Uyo saying:

“The problem is not the church, the problem is after church (service) what happens?”.

“People come into the church, they come in individually, so that’s not a problem – you use hand sanitisers, you use face mask. But when once they share the grace after the church service, somebody you have not seen in one week that is when people begin to hug, that is when people begin to share fellowship, brotherhood, sisterhood, and so on, that is where we are scared of,” he said.

“At that point the pastor wouldn’t be able to control the crowd, wouldn’t be able to control how those people interact after church service.”

The state government also delays to ease ban on social gatherings such as birthdays, marriages and funerals events. Public markets are opened only three times a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

It is now mandatory for residents of the state to wear face mask whenever they are in public.

Gov. Udom Emmanuel said those who try to organise wedding and burial at this time would be arrested and prosecuted.

“Please, don’t push us to that point, obey simple instruction,” he said. “Hold on to this let’s try and drive the curve downward and then we will open up everywhere.”

The governor claims that he hold meetings daily, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., with the state COVID-19 team which is headed by the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem.