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As Lagos religious houses remain shut: I can’t guarantee number of worshippers behind me while praying — Imam

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As Lagos Churches, Mosques remain shut: I can't guarantee number of worshippers behind me while praying — Imam
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

As religious houses — Churches and Mosques— in Lagos State remain shut to curtail COVID-19, an Imam has said he would not be able to tell if the number of worshippers praying behind him would be 20 or 50, in accordance with regulations.

Recall 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.

However, Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, told newsmen, on Tuesday, that reopening Churches and Mosques in the state had been ruled out.

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According to him, “even before the pronouncement by the Federal Government, we have been having series of meetings with the religious leaders. We even have one with Safety Commission; looking at the possibility of re-opening the shut Lagos religious houses.

“We also had one with the leaders of the two faiths and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, the possibility of re-opening 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.

“An Imam said he was not going to take responsibility for the number of worshippers. He said he cannot say if more than 20 or 50 people are behind him, as he doesn’t know what is going on at the back immediately he starts leading prayers.

“So at the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening religious houses, until we have a clear coast for us to do so.

“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 faiths together and discuss the pronouncement and I can assure you that they themselves will tell us not to do it.”


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