By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked Lagos, Ogun and other state governments where churches are still closed to relax the covid-19 restriction to allow reopening of places of worship.
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle, said the continued lockdown order on the places of worship was no longer acceptable or reasonably justified.
In statement issued on Tuesday by the Special Assistant, (Media and Communications) to the CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the association said that the continued closure of the worship centres is against the new relaxed lockdown protocol given by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“Despite the directive given by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 with regards to the re-opening of places of worship nationwide, some states like Lagos and Ogun are yet to allow worship places, especially churches, to be reopened. What sin have the places of worship committed?
“With the sudden emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at all levels, agreed with the government on the need to close down the places of worship, economy, schools and every other facet of life,” he said.
CAN said, “With the reopening of the economy, especially the markets (both organized and the unorganised markets) along with the plan to reopen airports and schools, the closure of churches anywhere in the country is no longer tenable and acceptable.
” In what way are the open and road side markets more organized than the church which warranted their opening? Is it not our members in the places of worship that do go to markets and other sectors opened? Why are they allowed to go to markets and disallowed from going to places of worship? Is it because the marketers cannot contact the virus in the markets and airports?”
CAN said that while the government and other relevant stakeholders are working hard to get cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church too has a role to play by seeking for divine solutions as well.
‘CAN appeals to the Lagos, Ogun and other state governments where churches are still under lockdown to relax it for God’s sake. 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 worshippers to return to places of worship,”.