Ogun moves towards reopening churches, mosques

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Prince Dapo Abiodun

The Ogun State Government has sent a delegation to visit churches and mosques in Remo, Ijebu and Egba axis of the state.

This step was considered as parts of efforts to ascertain the level of preparedness of worship centres towards reopening of congregational services in the state.

The delegation comprised the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, her counterparts in Physical Planning and Urban Development, as well as Environment, Tunji Odunlami and Abiodun Abudu-Balogun respectively.

They were reported to have met with clerics and also inspected preventive measures put in place  by respective faith-based organisations.

However, after the visit, Coker told journalists  that mixed reactions were noticed among the religious bodies on their level of preparedness.

She said  an appropriate decision towards reopening of the worship centres would be considered based on evidence at government disposal, for the overall benefit of worshippers.

She said, “We observed mixed reaction from the religious leaders on their level of preparedness because some have shown that they cannot actually guarantee the safety of their congregants from the COVID-19 pandemic and there are some that have complied with the laid down protocols.”

On his part,  his environment counterpart, Abudu-Balogun, commended some of the worship centres on their level of preparedness towards reopening.

He  expressed satisfaction on decontamination of the centres, adding that there was the need to continue the exercise before and after each service.

He said, “We are here on the directive of Governor Dapo Abiodun to ascertain the level of compliance, as well as the preparedness of worship center towards reopening.

“From the environmental point of view, we can see a high level of preparedness regarding decontamination of worship centers. What we noticed and needs to be addressed urgently is the ratio of chemical required to decontaminate the premises.”

The Cathedral Administrator, St. Sebastian’s Cathedral, Odo-Egbo in Ijebu -Ode, Rev. Father Vincent Ajayi, said the visit by the government officials showed the commitment of Prince Dapo Abiodun’s administration towards ensuring the safety of lives of the people.

He said, “As a church, we are also committed to preserving lives by partnering with the government in ensuring that our people do not contact the virus.”

 The Chief Imam of Ijebu-land, Sheikh Gbadegesin Ayanbadejo, equally commended the state government for  being committed to the development of the state and  its efforts towards containing the spread of COVID-19.

Worship centres visited included Ijebu-Ode Central Mosque, St Sebastine’s Catholic Church, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu Central Mosque, Ibara Baptist Church, headquarters of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, and  Redemption Camp among others.

Recall that the state government had shifted the reopening of churches forward due to the increasing cases of the coronavirus in the state.

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