The Executive Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike has blasted churches for disobeying COVID-19 regulations and threatened to impose fresh restrictions on worship centres.

The intention to impose fresh restrictions was made known by the governor while speaking at the weekend at St. Thomas Anglican Church in Mile 2 Diobu, Port Harcourt Local Government during Chief Azubuike Nmerukini’s family special thanksgiving service organised in honour of his wife, Dame Oroma Nmerukini, who survived a critical medical condition.

Wike said he observed during the service that more than 80 per cent of worshippers did not wear face masks.

In a statement released by Kelvin Ebiri, the special assistant on Media, Wike warned that if violation of the protocol continued, he would revisit his position on the population of worshippers at the worship centres.

He said: “Eighty-five per cent of those who are here are not wearing face mask. That is the problem we have. Nobody wants to obey simple instruction.

“The mere fact that we have agreed that we should worship and allow everybody, does not mean that we should disobey the protocol.

“My lord Bishop, encourage our people to wear their face masks. 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 thanked God for the healing of Dame Nmerukini, describing her as a sister and mother.

The Bishop of Diocese of Niger Delta, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo in his sermon admonished the congregation to discard the habit of bemoaning what they lack.

Thanking God for the restoration of her health, Dame Nmerukini said the experience was bitter, but she was grateful to God for healing her.

The governor was accompanied by his wife, Justice Suzzeette Nyesom-Wike, state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amb. Desmond Akawor,  Chief of Staff,  Government House,  Chukwuemeka Woke and Head of Rivers State Civil Service,  Rufus Godwin, among others.