By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Kaduna State Government has refuted claims that it had approved the reopening of markets for commercial activities, including mosques and churches in the state for religious worships.
It explained that contrary to reports circulating online, the government was yet to issue any directive to the effect and plans are underway to review the development in the state before releasing guidelines for reopening of the affected places.
The State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said though other states have been granting approval for reopening of markets, mosques, and churches, Kaduna was yet to conclude on its guidelines for reopening of its economy.
El-Rufai, who announced this through a statement on his social media page on Tuesday, called on residents to disregard any news or information claiming that the government had directed the reopening of the affected sectors.
According to him, steps taken by other states will not determine his administration’s response to the gradual ease of lockdown in the state, stressing that the government will stick to its roadmap for reopening.
El-Rufa, further, urged residents to support the government in its efforts in gaining total control against the virus, adding that any violation of lockdown by residents will be met with strict punishment by the state authorities.
“Kaduna State Government has not reopened markets or places of worship which were closed in March 2020 as part of Covid-19 prevention efforts. The state govt appeals to residents and leaders to be patient and collaborate with it to implement a careful, safe, and responsible re-opening of our State.
“The government has started engagements with business leaders and began receiving recommendations from some religious leaders on the subject of safe re-opening of places of worship. However, these consultations have not been concluded.
“Until these consultations result in a formal announcement authorising businesses, markets and places of worship to reopen, it will be a violation of subsisting Quarantine Orders to reopen any unauthorised facility, market, or places of worship or to conduct congregational worship.
“Kaduna State has its own roadmap for reopening. This was published last week as a public document for views & inputs by citizens. That is why when it extended the Quarantine Orders by two weeks on 26 May 2020, the state govt also announced steps to ease some of the restrictions,” the statement read in part.
KDSG has not reopened markets or places of worship which were closed in March 2020 as part of Covid-19 prevention efforts. The state govt appeals to residents and leaders to be patient and collaborate with it to implement a careful, safe and responsible re-opening of our State. pic.twitter.com/l7QOZHAWNr
— Governor Kaduna (@GovKaduna) June 2, 2020