The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, has disclosed that religious centres may remain shut in the state.
The Commissioner made this known while fielding questions from Journalists on Tuesday at a press briefing commemorating the first year in office of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu held in Lagos.
The Commissioner : “Even before the pronouncement by Federal Government, we have been having meeting with the religious leaders; we even have one with 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, possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.”
The Commissioner explained that the possibility of opening the religious houses were ruled out as a result of the disagreement on protocols and guidelines between the religious leaders and the state government.
He explained: “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 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 possibility of doing so in their respective states.’’
The Commissioner for Home Affairs further hinted that it was risky to open up religious houses in view of the number of recorded cases of COVID-19 in the state.
“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. 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.’’he added.
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.