The Sarkina Zabarmawa of Lagos, Alhaji Aliyu Garuba and Seriki Idi-Araba, Alhaji Hassan Auyo, have condemned the attack on the state special taskforce by worshippers, saying, it was “unnecessary.”
The operatives of the Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA) were allegedly attacked on Tuesday evening by some Muslim worshippers at the Agege Central Mosque while enforcing the Federal Government’s movement restriction in the state.
Subsequently, the state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, ordered the closure of the Mosque, whose worshippers are mainly of northern extraction.
The taskforce is mandated to monitor and enforce compliance of the government’s directive public gatherings exceeding 25 people.
The worshippers at the Mosque called “Mosalasi Alhaja,” located at Balogun Street, however, flouted the order during the Evening Prayer (Isha) and worshipped in hundreds.
Attempts by officials of the Lagos State COVID-19 Taskforce, who arrived at the scene to enforce compliance following a tip-off, were met with stiff resistance from the Islamic faithful who chased them away.
Reacting to the development, the leaders of the Hausawa Community expressed disappointment at the attitude of the Islamic faithful during chat with journalists at the commencement of a three- day fumigation exercise sponsored by the leaders in collaboration with four Community Development Associations in Idi-Araba, Mushin Local Government Area of the state.
Garuba said: “The act is absolutely unnecessary by the worshippers. We have impressed it and enlightened them (Muslim brothers) on the need to adhere to the state government’s directive on 25 persons per congregation at a single gathering.
“To that effect, I called a meeting last week with the 49 Hausawa leaders across the state, including Agege communities to sensitise them on the social gathering and distancing, especially, in Mosques.
“At the end of the meeting, we all agreed to comply with the directive of the state government. It’s unfortunate that the incident happened in Agege but I can assure the government that such will not happen again in the state.”
On the fumigation exercise in Idi-Araba, Garuba said it was part of community efforts to prevent any possible outbreak of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
He added: “We, Idi-Araba communities have not received any form of assistance and welfare package as promised by both Federal, State and local governments.
“I use this opportunity to appeal to governments to come to our aid because Idi-Araba is densely populated and any outbreak of COVID-19 in the area could spell doom for the state and the country.
“There are 60 streets, 1,200 houses and 315,000 residents with1000 Christians and 4000 Muslims in Idi-Araba communities, hence, the government should give priority to densely populated communities like ours.”