Indications emerged, on Tuesday, that churches and mosques in Lagos State may not be reopened soon for worshippers due to disagreement on protocols and guidelines between the state government and religious leaders.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government had, on Monday, lifted the ban on mosques and churches in the country based on guidelines and protocols agreed with state governments.
The State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, gave this indication on Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists at a Ministerial Press Briefing commemorating the first year in office of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu held in Lagos, declaring that the possibility of reopening the worship centres in the state had been ruled out.
“Even before the pronouncement by the Federal Government, we have been having a meeting with the religious leaders, we even have one with the Safety Commission. Looking at the possibility of reopening of religious houses.
“We also had one with the leaders of the two faith and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, the possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.
“They claimed that they cannot take such responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them. Like an Imam said he doesn’t know what is going on at his back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back he is not going to take responsibility for their presence.
“So in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so. The Federal Government mentioned it, but it never ruled out the state in achieving that pronouncement, so all states will have to look at the possibility of doing so in their respective states.
According to the commissioner he said;
“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 from that directive. We will call the two faith together and discuss the pronouncement and I can assure you that they themselves will tell us not to do it,”