Lagos bans Friday Juma’at prayers, Sunday church services over coronavirus

The Lagos State Government has banned religious gatherings of over 50 people in the state for the next 30 days.

Sunday church services and Friday Juma’at prayers in the state are hereby banned, the state government has announced.

Reading a communiqué after the meeting, the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said the meeting agreed that all large religious gatherings of over 50 people should be suspended immediately.

Elegushi explained that globally observed trends of spread of the viral disease had shown that group gatherings and maintaining close proximity with others should be avoided until the threat subsides.

He explained that the suspension would last for four weeks while it would be reviewed in line with the status of the virus in the state.

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He added that a committee had been set up to monitor the enforcement of the suspension to ensure that both Muslims and Christians in the state abide by the decision.

To ensure compliance, the commissioner disclosed that a 15-member committee comprising representatives of Muslims and Christians, would be deployed to ensure that none of the religious organisations violates the law.

Besides, the government also suggested massive sensitisation of people at the grassroots on the need to embrace proper hygiene.

The meeting also agreed that the Federal Government should shut down borders, especially land borders to checkmate the influx of foreigners into Lagos in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

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Elegushi appealed to Lagosians to desist from handshaking and to always wash their hands with soap and water or made use of sanitisers.

Responding, the Chief Imam of the State, Oluwatoyin Abou-Nollah, said the action of the state government was commendable, urging all Muslim leaders to abide by the decision and to also make personal hygiene a priority.

In his remarks, the state Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, said the association agreed with the action of the government.

“We must be proactive and take preventive measures. It is no longer the issue of religion but survival. We are going to accelerate the education of our people. We must listen to the instruction of the government and take the instruction seriously. We agree with the action of the government,” he said.

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Updated: March 18, 2020 — 9:02 pm

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