From left: Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi; Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office, Mr. Samson Ajibade and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye at the 2020 Celebration of the International Day of Tolerance held at the NECA House CBD Alausa ikeja on 16th November, 2020.

The Lagos State Government on Monday warned religious centres and leaders in the state to ensure that they comply with COVID-19 safety protocols to avert a second wave of the deadly virus.

The government also urged residents of the State to eschew violence and tolerate one another in order to continue to enjoy the peaceful co-existence.

Speaking at the 2020 International Day for Tolerance, held at NECA House, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said there was need for the worship centres to take the issue of safety protocol adherence very seriously to avert another spike of the pandemic.

According to him the government would continue to seek tolerance and cooperation received during the spike of the pandemic, from religious centres.

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He added that the cooperation given by the religious centres led to the level of success so far in the fight against COVID-19.

“At this juncture, let me reiterate and admonish our beloved people not to relent supporting and understanding the efforts of the Lagos State Government, we should not let down our guards, as it is not yet “Uhuru”, the battle against this dreaded virus is yet to be over.

“All guidelines and safety protocols of mitigating against the COVlD-19 should still be stringently adhered to.

“We are all aware that some countries such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France among others are currently experiencing the 2nd wave of the virus. We cannot afford to allow this to happen.

“I beseech us to continue to use our face masks, wash our hands frequently, and maintain social distance in public places while also using alcohol-based hand sanitizers from time to time to combat infection or transmission. I believe together, we shall overcome the scourge,” Elegushi said.

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The commissioner hailed Lagos residents for being tolerant with one another, saying during the spike of pandemic, residents exemplified a high sense of humanity as everyone looked out for the wellbeing and welfare of one another.

Elegushi said the state had indeed faced several health and economic challenges at this time, saying that God had been benevolent to Nigeria generally and Lagos State in particular.

The commissioner stated that the government had observed with a high sense of pride, how Lagos residents had risen to the occasion to partner with it in the area of support and donations as exhibited by well meaning citizens and corporate bodies in providing succour to residents during and after the lockdown.

Elegushi warned operators of the worship centres to comply with the NCDC guidelines to prevent second wave of COVID-19, warning that the government might be forced to sanctioned any religious houses that failed to obey or comply with the regulations.

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Harping on tolerance, he said there could be no tolerance where love did not exist, adding that Lagosians are sympathetic and are quick to display brotherliness and love when the need arose.

“Together as one, we all assisted the State Government in propagating the health tips and safety protocols as directed by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, we all cried to the Almighty in our various religious places of worship irrespective of tribes, tongue or religious inclinations.

“This is simply an act of tolerance while the lockdown and economic restriction lasted, residents demonstrated a high level of tolerance and endurance by abiding to the rules as stipulated by the Federal and State governments despite the fact that it interfered with their constitutional human rights,” he said.