The Rivers State Government on Saturday cancelled the concession granted churches to hold Easter church services with their full congregations amid a coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, Governor Nyesom Wike had urged Muslims in the state to observe Jumaat prayers on Friday and Christians to hold services with their full congregation on Easter Sunday.
But less than 24 hours to Easter Sunday, the state government rescinded its decision.
“This decision was taken after due consultations with eminent clergymen, well-meaning Nigerians and civil society groups,” state commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim, said in a statement.
“For the avoidance of doubt, churches should stick to the 50 persons per service to maintain social distancing,” the statement added.
On Friday, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu had urged all Christians in the country to maintain physical distancing and avoid large crowds.
“We need to pay a short term price for a long term goal and physical distancing is probably the most important tool,” he stressed.