Festivities: FCT records average COVID-19 safety protocols compliance
Hudu Yakubu Abuja
Following the observation of crossover services by Christians under the cloud of the rising Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FCT Administration has described as average their compliance level to established non-pharmaceutical measures especially the mandatory 50% seat capacity of worship centres in the Territory.
FCTA made this observation during random monitoring of crossover and candle night services annually held to usher in the New Year.
Voice of Nigeria gathered that some heads of relevant agencies accompanied by security operatives visited the First Baptist Church, Area 11, Garki-Abuja, COZA in Guzape, ECWA Goodnews, Maitama District, and Methodist Cathedral of Unity, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja.
Equally, a brief tour of the city revealed muted celebrations of the New Year, as only a handful of fireworks were recorded in the nation’s capital city.
Leader of the FCTA monitoring team, Attah Ikharo, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, attributed the development to growing consciousness among the FCT populace of the pandemic.
Attah also appreciated the role of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), that sensitised and charged church leaders and followers on the need to be conscious and join the fight against the pandemic.
“For us at the FCTA , the compliance level is average; it is so , in the sense that when you go round the churches , some of them , you will see people fully on masks and sanitized , with their temperature checked, and social distancing maintained.
“While in some other places, where you have overflow of crowd- no physical distancing. But in all, there is this consciousness that the FCT has that I think other states can learn from.
“People around the FCT still put on facemasks, there are areas you get to , you find it very difficult. By and large, there is this consciousness that has been created within the FCT that the government and people of the Territory are fighting the COVID-19.
“Our greatest thanks goes to the Christian body, CAN, that has been charging its members to be conscious and join the fight against the pandemic“.
“We are telling people that you need to safe yourselves, and above all, like the FCT Minister, Mallam Musa Muhammad Bello said today, we should try as much as possible to take our COVID-19 vaccines.
“Let’s go and take our jabs , as they are safe and good for us. By taking it, we will up our immune system, so that we can actually fight the pandemic, irrespective of its variant now or in the future.
“We should all go for our vaccines as well as obey the COVID-19 health protocols”.
At the First Baptist Church, Area 11, Garki-Abuja, Senior Pastor of the Church, Rev. Tom Takpatore, said in line with the established safety guidelines, he effectively made arrangements, which officials followed religiously during the crossover night.
Similarly, receiving the team at the ECWA Goodnews, in Maitama District, Rev. Dr. Samson Jonah, noted that the leadership of the church ensured that all the necessary precautionary measures were put in place, to realise a hitch-free exercise.
Jonah, who is the Chairman of FCT CAN, said prior to the crossover night the leaders of churches in the FCT had been fully sensitised and charged to ensure strict adherence to the established non-pharmaceutical guidelines for such places.
He however reiterated the commitment of churches in FCT and Nigeria at large to boost the fight against the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.