Don’t compare markets with churches, Ogun tells CAN

Ogun State Government says it has yet to agree on the date to reopen churches and mosques as requested by the Christian Association of Nigeria.

The state government added that CAN should not compare markets with churches, saying the continued closure of worship centres was taken in consultation with the leadership of the two religious bodies.

The Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Public Communications, Remmy Hazzan, stated this while reacting to CAN’s stance on the continued closure of churches which the association declared was unjustifiable.

The association had in a statement on Wednesday by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to the President, Rev Supo Ayokunle, kicked against the continued closure of churches, particularly in Lagos and Ogun states.

“With the reopening of the economy, especially the markets, both organised 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 opened and roadside markets more organised than the church, which warranted their opening?” CAN had said.

But Hazzan, said, “We have said it before that comparing markets with churches and mosques is not ideal. The market environment is an open space. The horrible effect is not there and so the use of face masks may just be sufficient. There is still a spike in COVID-19 cases in Ogun and Lagos states.

“Lagos is the epicentre and Ogun State is like New Jersey to New York in the United States; we cannot pretend that this state is completely immune.

“We are not in any way taking any unjustified decision. This is in the interest of the public. In the end, everyone will be back to worship God that we all serve. The public interest is not meant to punish any faith-based organisation or any faith whatsoever.”

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