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COVID-19: Bauchi lawmakers insist churches, mosques be reopened, lament rights violation by security agents
By Haruna Mohammed SALISU
SOME members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly have insisted that the state government has to open churches and mosques to enable people worship since markets are also open from time to time.
A member representing Giade local government area in the state assembly, Hon. Dan’umma Bello during the house plenary on Wednesday argued that there is a need to go spiritual to end COVID-19, hence the need to allow people observe Juma’at prayers and church services.
A summary of the House proceedings dispatched to newsmen by the spokesperson of the Speaker, Abdul Burra quoted the lawmaker saying; “since people are allowed to go to market for three days per week, people should equally be allowed to go and pray Juma’at prayers on Fridays and church service on Sunday.”
Hon. Dan’umma also said the government should reduce the number of mosques and churches by selecting a few that the prayers will be allowed.
In addition, Hon Yusuf Inuwa Dadiye, member representing Ganjuwa West in the state assembly reminded the members that they will account for all their deeds and actions on the day of judgement.
He described as unfortunate the banning of Juma’at prayers and church services in Bauchi State.
“Every day, our constituents are calling us to inquire whether they can go to Juma’at prayers and church services or not”, he said.
Hon. Dadiye who quoted some verses of the Holy Qur’an on the necessity and sanctity of Juma’at prayers to all Muslims, called on the members of the assembly to call for the opening of Juma’at mosques on Fridays and churches on Sunday ‘because the solution to COVID-19 is prayers.’
The member, therefore, calls on the government to increase the number of mosques for Juma’at prayers so that people will not congest the existing mosques.
He said “when that is done, government should order for strict compliance to the guidelines of fighting the disease in all Juma’at mosques and churches,” he said.
The lawmakers also described as unacceptable, the high-handedness of security agencies on unarmed civilians while enforcing the partial lockdown imposed by the state government.
A member of the assembly, Jamilu Umaru Dahiru has lamented that the behavior of the security agents trying to enforce the lockdown is highly unacceptable.
Jamilu who observed during House plenary on Wednesday said many citizens of the state receive bashings from ‘overzealous security personnel’ in the name of enforcement of the lockdown order.
“There is the need for government to call the attention of the security agents to be professional and respect the dignity of human beings while enforcing government’s directives on COVID-19 lockdown,” the lawmaker said.