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Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has lifted the social distancing order imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on religious congregations in mosques and churches across the state.

Bello, in a statement issued in Lokoja on Thursday, said that the lifting of the ban was to enable religious bodies to resume their normal worship and services.

The statement was signed by Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication.

The state government urged all religious leaders to put in place preventive and precautionary measures in their various worship centres in order to contain the outbreak and spread of corona virus in the state.

Specifically, the governor directed that hand sanitisers must be provided for worshippers at the entrances of all churches and mosques.

“Sitting arrangements in mosques and churches should be done to ensure social distancing.

“We also urge churches and mosques to make their services as brief as possible in order not to keep a large crowd of worshipers within an enclosed confinement,” the governor said

Bello then enjoined the religious leaders to continue to pray for the end of the pandemic so that the world could return to normal activities.

NAN reports that Gov. Bello on March 20, ordered the closure of public and private schools (tertiary, secondary and primary) in the state indefinitely as measures in preventing the spread of coronavirus disease in the state.

Bello said the closure of schools and other public gathering places take effect from Monday, March 23, 2020.

The governor also banned all forms of gathering involving 30 people and above as part of the preventive measures against the spread of the virus.
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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has granted Presidential pardon to the former governor of old Bendel State, late Prof Ambrose Alli and a foremost nationalist, late Chief Anthony Enahoro.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this at a world news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

He said three other high profile persons also benefitted from the presidential amnesty. He added that the gesture means that they were never convicted.

Aregbesola who was flanked at the conference by the ministers of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the gesture was based on compassion.

He added that 70 inmates of the Kuje custodian centre Abuja would also be released Thursday as part of efforts to decongest the centre.

Aregbesola said the Presidential pardon followed recommendations to the President by a Presidential Committee and the imperative of drastically reducing the number of inmates in custodian centres across the country due to the outbreak of COVID 19.