The Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has placed an indefinite ban on all forms of carnivals, street jams, crossover celebrations, and other yuletide gatherings as part of measures to mitigate spread of coronavirus across the state.
The governor indicated that the ban, among other strict decisions that would be taken, were part of needed precautionary measures against COVID-19, particularly the deadly second wave of the pandemic claimed to be gathering momentum in the country.
Oyetola in his Christmas message to Christians said that all forms of social gatherings should be suspended or celebrated minimally during the festive season as such would augment the government’s effort in breaking the deadly respiratory disease transmission chain.
The message, which was contained in a statement released to newsmen by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, the governor congratulated Christians in the state and across the country for witnessing yet another Christmas celebration.
He also urged Nigerians to embrace love, tolerance, generosity, and peaceful co-existence which Jesus Christ stood for, adding that the celebration offered Nigerians the opportunity to reflect on God’s love and compassion for man as epitomized in the gift of Christ to the world.
Oyetola, who particularly enjoined Christians to use the Christmas period to reflect on their relationship with one another and show love to their neighbors, also urged the people to shun religious sentiment and work together for the progress of the State.
This was just as he called on Osun residents and citizens in particular and Nigerians, in general, to ensure that all celebrations are done in moderation and in adherence to all COVID-19 protocols to limit spread of the disease.
Furthermore, Oyetola urged Christians to use the occasion to pray to God to intervene so as to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus.
“Christmas is a time for friends, family, giving, and sharing. This year’s celebration has presented us with an opportunity to once more show love and share. Also, Christmas symbolizes hope as it marks the birth of Jesus Christ, the prince of peace. I, therefore, urge all Nigerians to use this period to pray for peace, unity, and prosperity in the country.
“While this is traditionally a time for joy and celebration, I urge us all to do so in moderation. This period actually calls for introspection and continued prayers for our dear State and nation, taking into consideration the continued rise in cases of Covid19.
“We must ensure we be our brothers’ keepers by adhering to all COVID-19 protocols. Let me reiterate that all youth carnivals, the countdown to new year ceremonies have been banned. Let us use this season to increase our acts of kindness and touch the less privileged in our society. We are now not just responsible for securing each other’s health, but for helping to secure each others’ livelihood. I urge us all to keep our hopes alive despite the challenges facing the nation and the world at large.”