The Lagos State Government on Tuesday announced that it has ruled out the immediate reopening of churches and mosques in the state, citing an Imam’s confession that “he doesn’t know what is going on at back immediately he is leading a prayer”.
It categorically stated that no decision has been taken on re-opening churches and mosques in the state owing to the refusal of Christian and Moslem leaders to “take such responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them”.
AllNews reports that the Federal Government had on Monday, June 1, lifted the ban on mosques and churches in the country, based on guidelines and protocols agreed with state governments.
Fielding questions from newsmen at a press briefing commemorating the first year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu held in Lagos, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi said the possibility of reopening Churches and Mosques in the state had been ruled out.
He disclosed that the state was still looking at the possibility of reopening churches and mosques notwithstanding the recent guidelines issued by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.
Elegushi said, “Even before the pronouncement by Federal Government, we have been having meeting with the religious leaders; we even have 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, possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.”
He added; “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 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 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. But the governor of the state will come out with further directives. We will call the two faith together and discuss the pronouncement and I can assure you that they themselves will tell us not to do it."