As the world faces grave medical emergency, Lagos State Government on Wednesday placed ban on religious gathering of more than 50 people in the state to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr Anofiu Elegushi read out the directive on behalf of Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIRC), Lagos chapter after extensive debate with the representatives of leaders from both Christian and islamic organizations at Baguada Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa.
The meeting which lasted for hours was attended by the Grand Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Sulaiman Abu Nolla and the Chairman of Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos chapter, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola.
To ensure full implementation, a 15-man committee co-chaired by the Commissioner and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Adebunmi Adekanye was set up.
While reeling out the communique, Elegushi said, “It is better to offend people than to kill,” saying fifty persons are manageable for the religious leaders to control in mosques and churches.’’
He added, “We hereby agree we should suspend all religious congregation that is over 50 within the state for four weeks. It is easy to establish contacts of about fifty people. To achieve this, a committee should be set up to monitor and report on daily basis.
The Commissioner said, “While the constitution allows for freedom of association and worship, we are of the opinion that we should exercise our rights with extreme caution so as to avoid contacting and spreading of this disease.
“We hereby appeal to you to please pay close attention people coming into our places of worship, anyone found showing symptoms of this disease should immediately be reported to the appropriate authorities.
“We should put in place measures that will ensure cleanliness of our environment bearing in mind that, cleanliness is next to Godliness.
“Aside our normal ablutions, our worshippers should be encouraged to make use of hand sanitizers, avoid bodily contacts as much as possible and ensure safety measures in and around their places of abode.