Kaduna - Gov. Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State on Thursday relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state by four hours on Friday, June 22 and Sunday, June 24.
The four-hour respite on the two days is to enable Muslims observe their Juma’at prayers on Friday and for Christians to attend church service on Sunday.
In a broadcast to the people of the state, Yakowa said that the curfew would not be in force from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday respectively.
He said that the development was the outcome of the State Security Council meeting, which met for more than five hours on Thursday, adding that the government recognised the passion of the citizens for their respective religions.
``We have decided to create a window to allow the adherents of the two religions to pray in their places of worship nearest to them, and have therefore, reviewed the curfew hours for only these two days.
"We want the adherents of the two main religions in the state to use the two days to fast and pray for peace in the state.
``We covet the prayers of all for peace and security of the land and assure all and sundry that we shall continue to do everything possible to protect lives and property across the length and breadth of the state.
``The window that have been created are specifically to allow our citizens to go to their places of worship and pray for the peace of our land.
"It is, therefore, hoped that they use this opportunity to pray for peace, forgiveness of one another, healing to the wounded and comfort to the bereaved.
``It is further hoped that we would be orderly and peaceful as we go to observe our prayers at our places of worship and also return peacefully to our homes.”
The governor stressed that the 24-hour curfew would be observed on Saturday and Monday and advised residents to adhere strictly to the hours of respite.
He said that any further review would be announced in due course.
The governor appealed to Imams and Pastors to admonish their adherents on the need to ensure peaceful co-existence and tolerance for one another and to be their brother’s keeper.
He advised residents to shun rumour mongering and ignore mischievous texts messages meant to cause further chaos in the state.
``We wish to assure all and sundry that we are working round the clock for early and full restoration of peace and normalcy in the state.''
Yakowa commended members of the security agencies, traditional and religious leaders as well as other well-meaning members of the society for their efforts in cooling down tempers and stemming the tide of violence in the state.
Normalcy is gradually returning to the state after Sunday’s bomb attacks on three churches in Kaduna metropolis and Zaria as well as reprisal attacks in which many people were said to have been killed and injured.