Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, with religious leaders, briefing newsmen after the meeting

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday banned all religious gathering of over 50 people within the state in a bid to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

The decision was arrived at after a meeting of the Lagos State Government with religious bodies in the state.

The religious bodies include the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and Muslim leaders.

Reading a communique after the meeting held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Government Secretariat, in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi said the meeting agreed that all large religious gathering of over 50 people should be suspended with immediately.

He said the suspension would last for four weeks, with necessary review carried out if need be.

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Elegushi added that a committee had been set up to monitor the enforcement of the suspension to ensure that both Muslims and Christians in the state abide by the decision.

The 15-member committee comprises representatives of Muslims and Christians in the State.

Elegushi also said the meeting agreed that the state government should embark on massive sensitisation of people at the grassroots on the need to embrace proper hygiene.

He added that the meeting agreed that all health workers in the state should up their games in the battle against Coronavirus.

Elegushi stated that it was agreed that the Federal Government should shutdown borders, especially land borders to checkmate the influx of foreigners into Lagos in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

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The commissioner said the state government would immediately embarked on massive sensitisation of residents to be more aware of the danger posed by Coronavirus.

Elegushi appealed to Lagosians to desist from handshaking and to always wash their hands with soap and water or made use of sanitisers.

Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla said the action of the state government was commendable, urging all Muslim leaders to abide by the decision and to also make personal hygiene a priority.

Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola said the nation was at a critical point, stressing that since the outbreak of Coronavirus, Christians had been praying.

“We are at a critical moment in Nigeria, since we heard this, we have been praying. We have listened carefully to one another, particularly the government. The responsibility of every government is to protect the lives of the people.

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“We must be proactive and take preventive measures. It is no longer the issue of religion but survival. We are going to accelerate the education of our people. We must listen to the instruction of the government and take the instruction seriously. We agree with the action of the government,” he said.