The Lagos State Government has promised to punish defaulters of its recently announced suspension of all-night services and crossover events, in a bid to avert the spread of coronavirus amid the second wave of the pandemic in the state.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, via the Twitter handle of the state remarked that the state had instituted punitive measures for defaulters that could involve a court case.
Nairametrics earlier reported that the Lagos State Government directed worship centres to suspend all night services and cross over events. The government stated that the provision was to enable all churches in the state observe the curfew.
The government is advising residents to comply with COVID-19 protocols because the cases are rising. The role of religious organisations in fighting the pandemic is well noted.@jidesanwoolu @drobafemihamzat @gbenga_omo @gboyegaakosile1 #LASG #ForAGreaterLagos #Covid19LASG
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) December 30, 2020
What they are saying
Commenting on the punitive measures recently enacted by the government, Mr Omotoso said:
- “If you flout any of these rules, you can be fined. You will be taken to court and the magistrate will decide on the sanction. It depends on the magistrate’s discretion. But it is not just about punishing people. People are being advised to take responsibility. The regulations were rolled out as an advisory and people have been obeying while those who have disobeyed have faced the consequences.”
The Commissioner is optimistic that a high level of compliance will be recorded state wide, noting that some highly placed religious leaders in the state had assured the government of their cooperation, he noted that:
- “With what we have been seeing, I don’t think churches will flout the protocols. CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) is in agreement with the government. Covid cases are going up and everybody is worried. Some of the giant churches have also announced that they won’t be holding physical crossover services. The Lagos State Government has also told them that there is a curfew by midnight to 4am imposed by the Federal Government. Many of the churches have been adjusting their programmes. Churches are well-organised and we believe they will comply.”