Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has frowned at the “flagrant” disobedience of COVID-19 protocols by some churches in the state.
Wike warned that if this continues, the state government will 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 critical medical condition.
The governor said he observed during the service that more than 80 per cent of worshippers did not wear facemasks.
He warned that if it continues, the state government will be compelled to revisit its position on the number of worshippers allowed per session of such church services.
He said, “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.”
The governor also expressed appreciation to God for the healing of Dame Oroma Nmerukini, whom 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 will change for good like the case of Dame Nmerukini who had received touch of healing from God.
On her part, while thanking God for restoration of health, Dame Nmerukini said the experience was bitter but she was grateful to God who has healed her.
Dame Nmerukini also thanked 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 the governor 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 them 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.