Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked state governments yet to lift the ban on religious gathering, particularly on churches, to do so as quickly as possible or expect unfriendly reactions.
CAN’s President, Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle, in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, specifically, appealed to Lagos, Ogun and other state governments where churches are still under lockdown to relax it.
He said the continued lockdown order on places of worship was no longer acceptable and reasonably justified.
Ayokunle expressed the displeasure that despite the directive given by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 with regards to the re-opening of places of worship nationwide, states like Lagos and Ogun were yet to allow worship places, especially churches, to be reopened.
“What sin have the places of worship committed?” he queried.
He reminded states that the leadership of CAN had agreed with government on the need to close down the places of worship, economy, schools and every other facet of life during the early days of the pandemic in February/March.
“But with the reopening of the economy, especially markets (both organised and unorganised markets) along with the reopening of airports and schools, the closure of churches anywhere in the country is no longer tenable and acceptable.
“In what ways are the open or road side markets more organised than the church which warranted their reopening? Is it not our members in the places of worship that do go to markets and other sectors that are reopened? Why are they allowed to go to markets and disallowed from going to places of worship? Is it because marketers cannot contact the virus in markets and airports?”
Ayokunle said while the government and other relevant stakeholders are working hard to get cure for COVID-19, the Church too had a role to play in seeking divine solution to the pandemic.
“As much as we believe that COVID-19 deserves attention, it is our belief that the affected state governments would not turn a deaf ear to our quest, but allow worship to return