The Lagos State Government, through the state Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, has sealed off eight religious outlets comprising of Mosques and Churches across the State for persistent environmental pollution and disruption of peaceful co-existence of residents of the State.
This came on the heels of the commemoration of the 2019 United Nations International Day of Tolerance, marked on Saturday, November, 16th.
Some of the houses sealed are located at; 68, old Otta Rd, Orile Agege, 4, Ademola Oshinowo Off love all Str, Ketu, Dele Amuda Street, Lekki, 17, Ajileye Str, Ilaje Bariga, 39, Kusenla Road Elegunshi, Ajayi Bembe Str. Abule Oja Yaba among others.
LASEPA, General Manager, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, who disclosed this said the measure became necessary following series of warning notices earlier issued.
Fasawe vowed that following the clampdown exercise being part of the routine enforcement drive by the agency, there was no hiding place for any religious organization that cannot operate within the ambit of the law, regardless of their faith inclinations.
She said, “Mutual respect of views, especially religious organisations who are supposed to be the bastion of good conduct, tolerance, brotherliness and godly neighbourliness LASEPA will not rest on its oars in bequeathing a livable ambience to all inhabitants of the state.
“Those recalcitrant organisations or worship centres are known to be disturbing the peace of Lagosians would face the full wrath of the law.”
She maintained that in as much as the State Government is positively disposed to the peaceful conduct of religion of choice by its citizens, it would not condone infringements on the rights of other residents of the state in the name of religious activities.
Recalling the inundating petitions and outcry from residents of the state over the insensitivity and intolerance of some religious outlets in different areas across the state, LASEPA boss regrettably noted that several warnings issued to the management of those Churches and Mosques had not yielded the expected result.
“The State government recognizes the fact that the State thrives on peaceful co-existence among practitioners of the major religions across the State, but of great concern to the state government is the need for religious activities to be conducted in a manner that worshippers and citizens would not infringe on each other’s rights,” the General Manager reiterated.
“The illegal and unauthorized conversion of residential properties for religious use without recourse to the wellbeing of other residents and the state of the environment is of great concern to the present administration under the Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.”
Speaking on the sealed worship centres, Dr. Fasawe explained that for the facilities to be reopened, the leaders of those organisations must reach an agreement of compliance with the agency and also satisfy other necessary conditions as may be prescribed by LASEPA.
While warning those also in the habit to avoid same penalty, she warned owners and management of sealed off properties to desist from unsealing same without government’ s directive as serious consequences await such unlawful act.