Kaduna State government has arrested two clerics for conducting Friday congregational prayers in two communities of Kaduna North local government area, in violation of the curfew imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who disclosed this at a press conference on Saturday, named the culprits as Malam Aminu Umar Usman and Malam Umar Shangel, from Malali and Unguwan Kanawa respectively.
The commissioner said that their conduct violated government orders as well as advice given by leaders of faith, adding that the clerics will be prosecuted accordingly.
Aruwan reiterated that the government expects compliance with the quarantine orders, which imposed curfew in the entire state “and will continue to enforce them.’’
The commissioner further warned that “security agencies will enforce government orders and uphold the 24-hour curfew, until further notice. Those who seek to defy the directives stand the risk of arrest and prosecution.’’
“It should be clear that the inconveniences associated with the preventive measures, while regretted, are nothing compared to the suffering and deaths that coronavirus will cause if it is allowed to get here and spread,’’ he argued.
The Kaduna State Government commends ‘citizens that are abiding by the terms of the quarantine imposed on the state as a preventive measure against COVID-19,’’ he said.
‘’The state government is especially grateful to religious and community leaders who have joined in appealing to the public to abide by public health warnings.
‘’However, government has also sadly noted that certain individuals, including clerics, are violating the restriction of movement, large gatherings, trading and congregational prayers,’’ he noted.
According to the commissioner, such violations are “patently illegal and irresponsible conduct, at a time that requires sober and rational conduct to protect our people from coronavirus.’’