Jumat in Katsina, Easter in Ondo… how states are relaxing lockdown

CBN Junction, Karu, Abuja

As part of measures to check the spread of coronavirus, many states banned large gatherings and restricted movements. From a single case on February 27 to 288 cases on April 9, the government appealed to people to maintain social distance and take hygiene seriously.

President Muhammadu Buhari had even ordered a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital territory (FCT).

State governments also shut their borders and imposed curfews but as time progressed, some of them relaxed the curfew to allow residents stock up ahead of Easter.

Below are some of the the states that have relaxed the restriction order:


Abia: Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of the state, on Thursday, announced a slight relaxation of the lockdown in the state. Ikpeazu said the temporary relaxation was in view of the Easter celebrations, noting that there would be free movement within the state only between the hours of 6am on April 10 (Good Friday) and 2pm on April 12 (Easter Sunday).

He, however, noted that the 7-day lockdown extension would continue from 3pm on Sunday, April 12, to Friday, April 17. He said religious worshippers shall be free to worship at their various churches and mosques but must compulsorily observe the guidelines listed by health authorities.

No case has been recorded in the state.


Bayelsa: Despite the fact that the state has not recorded any case of COVID-19Douye Diri, the governor, ordered restriction of movement. He, however, relaxed the interstate boundary closure, explaining that the decision was to allow foodstuffs, drugs and vehicles conveying personnel on essential duty access the state.

Ebonyi: The government, on Wednesday, granted a partial restoration of religious activities in the state. It also relaxed the ban on burials by giving those in the state between April 9 and 20 to bury their dead. According to him, worshippers are expected to attend their normal service only on Sunday for Christians and Friday for Muslims with effect from April 12.

No positive case of COVID-19 has been recorded in the state.

Ekiti : Kayode Fayemi, on Monday, relaxed the total lockdown imposed on the state since March 29. Fayemi announced the relaxation after he got out of self-isolation. He also flagged off a welfare package for 20,000 vulnerable households in the state.


He said the curfew had to be relaxed to allow the people to stock up. The state has two cases of COVID-19.

Kaduna: The government also temporarily lifted the restriction of movement within the state for two days. The government had earlier imposed a 24-hour curfew to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Hadiza Balarabe, the deputy governor who has been acting since Nasir el-Rufai, the governor, tested positive for the disease, said the curfew will be eased from 3pm on April 1 till 12 midnight the next day.

She said the decision to relax the curfew “is to enable people to stock up on food and other essentials”.


She added that subsequently, the restriction of movement will be lifted every Tuesday and Wednesday. Residents were asked to observe social distancing, avoid crowded places and to wash their hands regularly.

Kaduna has five confirmed cases of COVID-19.


Katsina: Aminu Masari, the governor, ordered a partial relaxation of the lockdown order on religious activities, in particular,  Friday Jumat prayers.

A statement by Mustapha Inuwa, secretary to the government, said Muslim faithful will henceforth be allowed to observe their Juma’at prayers under strict health and security guidelines.


Inuwa said the measures were directed by the governor as a follow up to the outcome of a meeting between religious leaders, traditional rulers, security agencies.

He advised people to maintain and strictly adhere to all the rules and regulations provided by the health experts in fighting the pandemic.


No announcement has been made on lifting the ban on Sunday worship services across the state.

The state has recorded a case of coronavirus and one death.

Kogi: Yahaya Bello, governor of the state, directed that the ban on religious gathering be lifted to allow for normal worship and services.

He, however, enjoined religious leaders to put in place the following preventive measures:

No case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the state.

Niger: The government also relaxed its 2pm to 10pm curfew which began on April 5. Although the state had earlier imposed a 12-hour curfew. The government said the measure was to enable people to stock food and other essentials needs.

It said markets would now be opened from 8am to 2pm to enable people buy foodstuffs and other essentials, asking marketers to adhere strictly to the precautionary measures of the ministry of health.

Civil servants on grade level 1-12, earlier directed to stay at home, were asked to resume work on April 6 from 8am to 2pm.

The governor, however, said intra and inter-state movement of people and vehicles across the state remained banned.

The state has not recorded any positive case of COVID-19.

ONDO: The government approved the request of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) in the state to observe the Easter Sunday worship in various churches across the state.

The government said the approval was based on precautionary measures and guidelines earlier put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

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