COVID-19: Wike faults church, says 85% of congregation failed to wear face mask

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike says some churches in the state are flagrantly disobeying COVID-19 protocols.

The governor warned that if this continued, the state government would have no option than to review the restriction on the number of people allowed to worship in churches.

He stated this at the Saint Thomas Anglican Church in Mile 2 Diobu, in Port Harcourt Local Government Area, during Chief Azubuike Nmerukini’s family special thanksgiving service organised in honour of his wife, Dame Oroma Nmerukini who survived a critical medical condition.

Wike said he observed during the service that more than 80 per cent of worshippers did not wear facemasks during the service.

He warned that if it continued, the state government would be compelled to revisit its position on the number of worshippers allowed per session of such church services.

“85 per cent of those who are here are not wearing facemask. That is the problems we have. Nobody wants to obey simple instruction.

“The mere fact that we have agreed that we should worship and allowed everybody, does not mean that we should disobey the protocol.

“My lord Bishop, encourage our people to wear their face mask. It is very important. If this continues then I will go back and review the restriction to say it cannot be more than a particular number,” he said.

The governor also expressed thanks to God for the healing of Dame Oroma Nmerukini who he described as a sister and mother.

In his sermon, the Bishop of Diocese of Niger Delta, Right Reverend Wisdom Ihunwo admonished the congregation to discard the habit of bemoaning what they lack.

He, rather, urged them to believe fervently in God, pray to him and learn to live a life of thanksgiving.

Biohop Ihunwo asserted that when God touches any situation, it changes for good like the case of Dame Nmerukini who he said had received touch of healing from God.

Thanking God for the restoration of her health, Dame Nmerukini described the experience as bitter but said she was grateful to God who healed her.

Dame Nmerukini also expressed thanks to friends and family members who offered prayers and other levels of support.

Chief Azubuike Nmerukini, who is also the State Chairman of Local Government Service Commission, thanked God for the healing of his wife.

He also commended Wike for both financial and moral support rendered to him and his family while his wife was ill.

He noted that God empowered some persons to offer assistance that made the burden on his family easy to bear.

The governor was accompanied by his wife, Justice Suzzeette Nyesom-Wike, State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Desmond Akawor, Chief of Staff, Government House, Engineer Chukwuemeka Woke, and Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Rufus Godwins.

Others were the Chairman of Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) Felix Obuah, former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Austin Opara, former Majority Leader of Rivers State House of Assembly, Dr Chidi Lloyd and Former Attorney General of Rivers State, Frank Owhor.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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