The Katsina State Government, in North-West Nigeria, has lifted the suspension on Friday congregational prayer with immediate effect.
This is despite the federal government preaching social distancing across the country as a way of ending the pandemic in Africa’s most populous nation.
The lifting of the suspension was announced by the Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa, in a statement made on Tuesday in Katsina.
“Following a meeting held today between the Katsina state government, religious leaders, traditional rulers and security agents to review some measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“The Executive Governor has directed that the suspension of Friday prayers be lifted with immediate effect; however, the prayers will be conducted under some stipulated health and security guidelines.
“The Jumu’at Imams should, however, avoid prolonged sermons in order to discharge their followers within the shortest period.
“People are also strongly advised to maintain social distancing and adhere strictly to all the rules and regulations provided by the health experts in fighting the contagious disease,” he said.
The Katsina govt had banned religious gatherings two weeks ago.
An Imam was later arrested for flouting the directive, a development that caused rampaging youth in the state to attack and burn down a police station.