- The Lagos state government has rolled out 46 guidelines for worshippers to follow as it reopens churches and mosques
- Anofiu Elegushi, the commissioner for home affairs, said a committee has been set up to monitor the compliance
- Religious leaders in the state also commended the government for reopening of worship centres while they all promised to comply with the guidelines
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After months of closure due to Covid-19, the Lagos state government has finally approved the partial reopening of worship centres.
According to the government's directive, mosques are to reopen for Jumat services starting from Friday, August while churches reopen on Sunday, August 9.
However, the government has rolled out 46 safety protocols and guidelines for worshippers to follow during services to avoid a spike in the Covid-19 cases in the state.
To ensure the guidelines are followed, the government also inaugurated a 43-man monitoring and compliance committee.
The Nation reports that the latest development was disclosed by Anofiu Elegushi, the commissioner for home affairs after a closed-door meeting with religious stakeholders on Thursday, August 6.
Speaking to journalists, Elegushi said: “We have agreed on approved safety protocols on partial reopening of religious houses and inaugurated a committee comprising leaders of both faiths, officials of Ministry of Home Affairs and the state’s Safety Commission.
“On Friday (August 7), monitoring of compliance will start while enforcement proper will commence by next week to see level of compliance."
The religious leaders present at the meeting commended the state government for reopening of worship centres while they all expressed support for the guidelines promising to comply.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Pastor Tunde Bakare, the general overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC), formerly known as the Latter Rain Assembly, faulted the reopening of churches by the Lagos state government.
Bakare speaking during the church's online Sunday worship on August 2, warned against the government's directive in spite of the pandemic in order not to drive Christians like sheep to the slaughterhouses by reopening worship centres.
The cleric went on to note that if the government and health agency said there will be a peak of the disease in August, why should people rush and re-open churches.
He also said that though the state government can shut down churches, it does not have the right to force them to reopen.
While adding that the government might have bowed to pressure from religious leaders to lift the ban, Bakare urged the people to keep safe and do their best to keep alive by following all the necessary rules.
He said: "Do not let anyone, whether religious leader or governmental leader, to drive you like a sheep to the slaughter.
"If they (the government and the disease control authorities) said that the month of August is going to be the peak of the infection, why should they ask people to rush in (re-open the churches) again?"
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