Connect with us

Covid-19 in Nigeria

Churches, mosques remain closed – Lagos, Oyo gov. insists

Valentine Chinyem

Published

on

The Oyo State government has said it is yet to relax the ban on religious activities in the state.

This is according to a statement by Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Seyi Makinde.

He said the current curfew of 8pm to 5am still stands.

He explained that the decision was taken by the Oyo State COVID-19 task force after a two hour meeting, adding that it is due to the ongoing risk, situation analysis being undertaken by a team of experts.

The statement reads: “The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force wishes to alert the public that the ban on religious gathering remains in force in the state. The 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew earlier imposed on the state as a result of the ravaging pandemic will also remain in force until further notice.

“This is because the Task Force is awaiting a risk, situation analysis report by a team of experts earlier commissioned to do so.

“The report is expected at the end of the week and it is only after the report has been analysed by the Task Force that it can be in a position to make further clarifications.”

More so, a similar decision has been taken by the Lagos state government, which is also the worst hit state in Nigeria.

Prince Anofiu Elegushi, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, made this known on the sideline of the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing commemorating the first year in office of his principal, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday.

According to him, worship centres can not be reopened until there is a “clear coast for the state to do so”.

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.”