Akwa Ibom State government has lifted the ban on burials and wedding ceremonies in the state The governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, who announced this during the routine interactive session with the citizens, aired by state-owned radio and television stations, yesterday, gave strict guidelines to be followed while holding such ceremonies, especially social distancing and wearing of the facemask. He warned that anybody who fails to adhere strictly to those guidelines and precautionary measures outlined by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the opening of social gatherings in the state, would be arrested. He warned that the state would be shut down again if people fail to adhere to all the laid down guidelines.
His words: “Let me announce here that effective Saturday, July 4, we will allow weddings, burials. We will allow people to bury their loved ones because the mortuaries are getting congested. But if you are doing a funeral in an open space, you must take a maximum of 50 people. If you want to do it inside the Church please let it not be more than 30 people.
“So we have come to an understanding that we cannot bury our loved ones the way we used to. I know how we celebrate burials, but please let’s look at the situation at hand that we are trying to manage. For those who want to do a wedding, we will allow you to do it, but please follow the same guideline.
“Let me also warn here that if you must go out, wear a face mask. If you don’t want to wear a mask, please stay at home. I don’t want us to get to a point where we are overwhelmed by the situation. If we discover that people are not obeying the simple guidelines, we will not hesitate to shut down the state again.
The governor reiterated his appreciation to front line health workers, security agents, all stakeholders in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the citizens, for their understanding and cooperation at this point.