The Lagos State Government on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 suspended all religious gatherings above 50 persons in the state for the next four weeks with immediate effect.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, announced this to newsmen in Ikeja after a closed door meeting with religious leaders in the state on the issue of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Elegushi said that the decision was taken in the interest of Lagosians and necessary toward curbing the spread of the ravaging coronavirus.
”We met with religious leaders both Christians and Muslims. We discussed, argued and realised that the lives of Lagosians is important to us. We prefer to offend people than to kill our people.
”Let me assure you that the state government is not insensitive to the Lenten period and various religious activities going on. We are concerned because it is only the living that can worship God.
”Having discussed extensively, the heads of religious bodies agreed government should embark on massive education of the virus at the grassroots level.
”Health workers should up their games, while more should be recruited and hospitals should be compelled to attend to people without prejudice.
”In view of this, we have decided to suspend all religious activities above 50 people and the enforcement starts with immediate effect,” the commissioner said.
He said that a committee had been set up involving top religious leaders to ensure compliance with the directive.
Speaking after the announcement, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State, Apostle Alexander Bamgbala, said the association was glad with the development.
”We are going to follow the directive of the government. We are at a critical moment in our nation and God has been hearing our prayers concerning coronavirus.
”In view of the increased in number of infected cases, we must be proactive. It is not about religion but survival. We need to listen to government and be proactive so that God will continue to answer us,” Bamgbala said.