The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, His Eminence, Rev Dr. Samson Ayokunle, yesterday called on governors yet to reopen churches under their watch to do so now, saying the continued lockdown order on the places of worship was no longer acceptable and reasonably justified.
Ayokunle made the appeal in a statement issued on his behalf by Pastor Bayo Oladeji, his media aide.
According to the CAN President, 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, such as Lagos and Ogun, are yet to allow worship places, especially churches, to be reopened.
He queried: “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.
“But with the reopening of the economy, especially the markets (both organized and the unorganized 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 roadside 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 contract the virus in the markets and airports?
“It is our opinion that while the government and other relevant stakeholders are working hard to get a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church too has a role to play by seeking for divine solutions as well.”
Ayokunle specifically appealed to Lagos, Ogun, and other state governments where churches were 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 places of worship to reopen,” he stressed.