Police have clashed with worshipers at a renowned Pentecostal church in Acme area of Lagos State over compliance with the government directives on the number of worshipers to be accommodated during worship.
The police team lead by the Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command DCP Olatunji Disu, however, overpowered the faithful and forced the church to comply with the Lagos State Government’s directive limiting the number of worshippers at a time to 50 .
A police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “The enforcement which was strictly the directives of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu ,was led by DCP Olatunji Disu. The team got to the Acme Road branch of the church at about 9 am only to be locked out by the church management. Officials of the church were seen scampering around to inform other members of the presence of the police.
“When the entrance gate was opened, some belligerent church members who saw one of the enforcement officers recording the church activities attacked the team, seized two mobile phones, a Samsung S 8+ and Samsung J4.
The members equally allegedly attacked TVC crime reporter, Ivy Kanu,, and almost seized her phone. TVC cameraman was equally attacked as they tried unsuccessfully to prevent him from recording the church premises. DCP Disu, in de-escalating the crisis prevailed on the management of the church to discontinue the service and prune down the attendance to reflect the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu’s directives.”
As of the time of filing this report, one of the phones, a Samsung S 8+ was allegedly still being held by the church after they reluctantly released the Samsung J4.
The team was said to have commenced compliance monitoring as early as 7 am by visiting religious organisations in Alausa, Agidingbi, ACME Road, Akilo, Ogba, Aguda, Yahaya Abatan, Omole, Ojodu, Ogudu, Oregun, Toyin, Ikeja GRA, Allen and Opebi.
Other areas visited were Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Olowopopo, Jobi Fele Way, Alapere, Oba Akran ,and Obafemi Awolowo Way.
A senior police officer said: “There was total compliance in all the places visited except at the church that attacked the police. Some of the churches visited had their services online while some had banners tied to their entrance informing worshipers to go back home.”
The Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu has, therefore, advised Lagosians, club owners, and religious bodies to comply with the state government’s directives, as the police would continue to monitor compliance.