The lockdown ordered by the federal government has been more effective this Sunday than last one in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja as the Christian faithful stayed away from Palm Sunday church services.
Prompt News reports that most of the churches visited in the metropolitan city and the satellite towns were closed for corporate gatherings in obedience to the Presidential directives that residents of the mega cities and towns should observe Social Distancing to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
A visit to the Basilica of Grace Anglican Church at Gudu-Apo District showed that there was no Palm Sunday church service although the Vicar, Venerable Oludare Otoki had earlier sent a message to members that there will be “no Corporate Service” due to the prevailing situation in the country.
“Dear Parishioners, we pray that this trying period will soon be over in Jesus’s name.
Because of the prevailing situation, we encourage our members to log in to ACNN tomorrow (today) at 7.00am, 9.00am and 11.00am for Palm Sunday Service Broadcast.
“However, at Basilica of Grace, the church will be open for whoever wants to come and pray but there will be NO CORPORATE SERVICE. We will also make provision palm fronds for who ever wants some as a mark of the Palm Sunday”, Ven. Otoki advised members yesterday via an online platform of the church.
True to the above advice, Palm Sunday which is one of the most important dates in Christian calendar was not observed in the church at all.
Newsmen also confirmed that it was the same situation at various churches visited in the FCT today especially the big churches like St. Gabriel Chaplaincy of the Catholic Diocese of Abuja at Durumi Phase 2 and the nearby Living Faith Church, Winners Chapel, Durumi.
There was no sign of church activities at The Redeem Christian Church of God, Overcomer Parish near Area 1; St. Peter’s Catholic Church and Christ Embassy in Damangaza, Lokogoma as well as many other churches located in the satellite towns of Kubwa, Kuje, Kuchingoro, Orozo, Jikwoyi, Abaji, Kugbo, Dutse Alhaji, Dei Dei, Gwagwalada, among others.
With the absence of church services today to mark the Palm Sunday which is the Triumphant Entry of the Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and the beginning of the Holy Week, the most important week for the Christian faithful, it has become crystal clear that both the Good Friday church and Easter Sunday services will not hold in most of the churches in FCT and several states of the federation due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world Nigeria inclusive.