Christian and Muslim bodies in Ogun state have directed churches and mosques to abide by the state government’s directive banning all high-density gatherings as part of measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, on Thursday had said the ban on high-density gatherings affects all schools as well as all religious activities in the state.
According to him, all schools in the state will remain closed indefinitely after school hours on Friday.
The State Chairman of Christain Association of Nigeria(CAN), Bishop Tunde Akin – Akinsanya, had consequently directed all churches to adhere to the directive.
“Our church leaders are therefore enjoined to reduce to the barest minimum the number of worshippers within a confined space.
He said, ” Let us as much as possible, for the situation on hand follow Matthew 18: 20 ” for where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them”; for the purposes of standing in the gap for our members during this trying period.
“As we look up to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, we have confidence and assurance that He will not leave us nor forsake us as a body and as a nation.”
The Wakilu Musleem of Yorubaland, Edo, and Delta States, Sheik Iskeel Awwal, also announced the suspension of all mosque activities, particularly the weekly Asalatu and Jum’ah prayers and any gathering of up to 50 people.
“The suspension of activities shall take effect immediately until further notice.
The decision, he said, was informed by the spread of the coronavirus and Fatwa by World Islamic bodies taking cognizance of the Islamic principles of ‘preservation of life’, ‘prevention of harm’, and ‘proactive response to impending danger’.
“The society shall abide by the government’s recommendations and update members and mosque users of any change in the suspension decision.
“We acknowledge that many of our members and mosque users might find this unprecedented decision very uncomfortable, we should please be reassured that this is for the good of the community and it is in compliance with the Islamic response to the pandemic,” he said.