Religious leaders of key and large congregational gathering in Lagos State have agreed to put on hold all religious gatherings, regardless of the numbers of congregants, pending further directive from the State Government.
The Christian leaders under the auspices of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) comprising of the Anglican Communion, Methodist, House on the Rock Church, African Church of Nigeria among others, met with the leadership of State Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday to review the earlier restriction order on social gathering.
Addressing the representatives of CAN at the brief meeting held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofi Elegushi appreciated the religious leaders for being obedient to the directive of the State Government.
He explained that the meeting was conveyed to intimate the spiritual fathers of the latest development regarding the new numbers of persons allowed to gather at any point in time, saying that the state government had further reduced the number from 50 persons to 25 persons.
The Commissioner specifically commended the Christian leaders for going a step further by agreeing to suspend all religious gathering in line with the directive of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
In his words, “I must say that I am indeed very happy that the leadership of CAN had agreed to suspend all gathering in their various places of worship for now. Although we proposed a maximum number of 25 persons, they have gone a step further to put all religious gathering on hold for now, this indeed, is true leadership exemplified”
He stated that with the new position of the religious leaders, the State Government now have a ground to enforce the non-social gathering in religious places having obtained the buy-in of the leadership of the Christian body.
Elegushi maintained that the leadership of CAN had displayed a high level of understanding and cooperation with their new resolution, stressing that the best way to prevent the spread of the deadly CoronaVirus is through social distancing.
He coveted the continual prayers of the church for God’s mercy on the country and for divine wisdom and administrative capabilities to conquer the health challenges confronting the country as a whole and Lagos State in particular.
The CAN Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola described the present administration in the State as a God-fearing one, saying that the government had resolved to a round table discussion with the various church leaders rather than just issuing out directive.
Apostle Bamgbola stated that the church is bound to comply with the position of government in the best interest of everyone and in consonance with Biblical provisions.
“The Bible recommends to us that those in authority should be respected and it added that where two or three are gathered together, there He will be, so the emphasis or insistence on coming under a single roof if it poses a threat to our collective interest, can be suspended,” Bamgbola reiterated.
He stated that churches that are flouting the order of the State Government are anti-people and they are mostly small churches, saying that the so-called big churches are acting in line with the directive from the government.
Bamgbola said that the body of CAN is ready to complement the efforts of government in enforcing compliance with the social gathering order especially among all churches across the State.
“We cannot claim to be holier than the Vatican City, in Rome or other religious countries that have presently suspended large gathering pending when the storm of the coronavirus is over. We should also act in like manner to normalcy is restored to our country so that the situation doesn’t get out of hand,” the CAN Chairman restated.