Lagos Imam, CAN back suspension of religious activities

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Lagos Chief Imam, Sheikh Sulaimon Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla  and  the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) in the state welcomed the decision by the Lagos State Government to still have worship centres shut.

The action, Sheikh Abou-Nolla said, showed that the governor was passionate about saving the lives of Lagosians.

He urged Muslims to abide by the governor’s directive, saying there was no basis for   reopening   religious centres going by the increasing figures of  COVID-19 cases in the state.

His words: “The decision is in line with our thoughts of not endangering the lives of our people. It is those who are alive that can worship Allah.

“We thank Governor Sanwo-Olu and his cabinet members for showing concern for the lives of the people.

“I therefore urged our Muslim brothers and sisters to comply with the directive. All mosques should remain closed till COVID-19 pandemic is defeated.”

Grand Mufti of Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO) Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafi’I also described the governor’s decision as a right step.

Lagosians, he said, should not view the suspension negatively.

“It is a proactive decision taken to safeguard lives of Lagosians in particular and Nigerians in general as Lagos is the epicentre of the virus in the country’’ Shafi’I said:.

Like the Imam, the state CAN   said the lives of worshippers were more important than reopening churches.

Its Secretary Elder Israel Akinadewo told The Nation: “Human lives are so sacrosanct. The church is very concerned. The best thing to do is to pray.”

He noted that churches cannot ignore government advice.

“If anything untoward happens, which we are not praying for, the church will be blamed. So it’s a dilemma that does not require granting interviews but prayers,” Akinadewo said.

But the state Chairman of  the Pentecostal Fellowship OF Nigeria (PFN),  Bishop Ola Ore, expressed shock   over the development, saying Christians  carry out essential service in churches

Ore argued that the increasing   cases in the state called  for  corporate prayers.

He added: “We have spoken and said all we needed to say but in their wisdom, if they think that is better, it is very unfortunate.

”l am sad and is because l went to the bank today and l saw how people were  close to each other in  the queue outside the bank.

“Though, they said banks are essential service and l agree. Christan are essential service providers and like Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God said , there is power in corporate anointing.

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