Nigerian authorities have confirmed the arrest of nine pastors after they contravened lockdown regulations in Bayelsa State in southern Nigeria on Sunday.
According to Premium Times, state governor Douye Diri had barred people from leaving their homes in an executive order he signed on April 27. The order only exempted workers carrying out essential services, and banned all religious gatherings.
The pastors were arrested by the Bayelsa State task force on Covid-19 after they were found to be holding church services.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and member of the task force Freston Akpor confirmed the arrests of the pastors.
The arrested pastors are from various churches,including the Methodist Church in Obogoro, the Believers Love World in Akenfa, Adaba Glory of Saint Paul Healing Church, God’s Grace Salvation Ministry in Obogoro, the Prophetic Grace Love Ministry in Opolo, the Halleluyah Deliverance Ministries International, the Winners Chapel in Obogoro, the All for Christ Zion Church in Akenfa 3, and the New Covenant Tabernacle Ministry in Akenfa 3.
Akpor said they will remain in custody police headquarters and will be charged in court with violating Covid-19 regulations.
Bayelsa State has five positive Covid-19 cases, with no discharges or deaths reported yet.
The NCDC urges residents to stay home, practise good hygiene and to continue physical distancing.