The hope of many Lagosians that restrictions on religious centers across the state may soon be removed has been dashed as the Lagos State Government has ruled out the possibility of reopening Churches and Mosques.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, revealed this during a Ministerial press briefing held to commemorate the first year of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in office.
The Commissioner stated that this decision was reached after a held meeting of the state government and some religious leaders, were it was observed that all protocols and guidelines positioned by the state government as a prerequisite for granting of full access were not agreed by the religious leaders.
According to Elegushi,“Even before the pronouncement by the 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 faith 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 the 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,”
With Lagos being the epic center of the pandemic in the country, the commissioner reiterated that reopening of churches or mosques won’t happen until there is a clear coast to do so.
Recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria, while recently announcing new lock-down relaxation measures, had granted each state the right to decide on the reopening of all religious centers within their jurisdiction.