By Obinna Amaobi
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the weekend urged religious leaders to sensitize residents on measures to curb the spread of coronavirus and stay safe.
He said their role in the sensitization is very vital because what is happening now is community transmission and many of the residents in the State worship under them either as Muslims or Christians.
The governor made the appeal in the first ever virtual meeting he held with religious leaders in the State.
He briefed the leaders on efforts of his Administration since the coronavirus pandemic landed in Nigeria on February 20th, 2020, Lagos State being the epicentre of the Corona virus, because of the strategic position it occupies.
Welcoming the religious leaders to the meeting, the Governor described the pandemic as a global scourge. He observed that sadly, the Lenten and Ramadan Seasons have also fallen under the lockdown period.
He however informed that the State was already at alert immediately the news about the virus broke in China in December, 2019 bearing in mind the experience of the Ebola virus.
The religious leaders were informed that, since all borders have been shut, the infection and transmission of the virus is now spreading at the community level, hence the urgent need to sensitize religious leaders as many of the residents in the State worship under them either as Muslims or Christians.
The Governor reiterated that the “0 – Congregation” stance of government for religious worship centres was still in force, to ensure social/physical distancing and that moving forward, all hands should be on deck to do more sensitisation and monitoring in complimenting with government efforts.
The Governor called for continued and intensified prayers of the religious leaders to successfully navigate this perilous period.
The Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria-CAN, Lagos State Branch, Apostle (Prof.) Alexander Bamgbola, thanked the Governor for being proactive, dogged and pragmatic in his approach to the situation which he believes has saved so many lives and promised on behalf of Christian faithfuls in the State to continue to support efforts of government in sensitisation and enlightenment.
Speaking on behalf of the lslamic and Muslim leaders, the Grand Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheik (Engr.) Suleiman Abu-Nolla, described this period as a time of collective survival, when all religions must put everything to work in order to ensure survival of all.
Some of the notable religious leaders online with the Governor were, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi (Deeper life), Pastor Joseph Obayemi(RCCG) Dr. D.K. Olukoya(MFM), Rev.Mrs.Mercy Ezekiel(CPM), Amb.Mrs. Elizabeth Onajobi of WOWICAN, His Eminence Samuel Kanu Uche and other leaders in the five Christian Bloc and CAN Executives.
Also present were lmam Dr. Abdulrahman Ahmad (Chief Missioner, Ansar udeen) Sheik Abdulhakeem Lawal, Imam Abdul Akeem Lawal, Dr. (Mrs.) Egberongbe of FOMWAN, Sheik Uwais, Chief Imams of the various Divisions of the State, MSSN and other top religious leaders.
By Obinna Amaobi