“We rule out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so” – Govt.
Again, the hope of opening Churches and mosques in Lagos State has been dashed. The Lagos State Government has ruled out the immediate reopening of worship centres in the state.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said on Tuesday that Lagos being the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the country would not reopen worship centres until there is a “clear coast for the state to do so.”
He stated this during the 2020 ministerial press briefing commemorating the first year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The Federal Government had on Monday, June 1, lifted the ban on religious gatherings, based on guidelines and protocols agreed with state governments.
But Prince Elegushi said the state was still looking at the possibility of reopening worship centres despite the FG’s guidelines.
He said: “Even before the pronouncement by Federal Government, we have been having meetings with the religious leaders, we even had one with Safety Commission, looking at the possibility of reopening of religious houses.
“We also had one with the leaders of the two faiths and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, the possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.
”They claimed that they cannot take such responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them.
”Like an Imam said, he doesn’t know what is going on at the back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back, he is not going to take responsibility for their presence.
”So, in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so.
”The Federal Government mentioned it, but it never ruled out the state in achieving that pronouncement, so all states will have to look at the possibility of doing so in their respective states.
”We all know Lagos is still having more figures. So, definitely, that will speak to our decision.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state led by Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, thanking church leaders for the patience exhibited till date, has appealed to members to be patient till the State Government comes up with the modalities for opening the Church premises to the different congregations in Lagos State.
“We will do our best to ensure that the modalities that will be put in place will not be much of inconvenience for the Church in Lagos,” assured the CAN Chairman.
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