Lockdown: Reopen Churches, CAN Tells State Governments

The Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, has beseeched on state governments across Nigeria to lift the ban on worship centres.

President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, who made the call on Tuesday, described the lockdown imposed on worship centres by some states as “unacceptable and unreasonable.”

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Recall that states like Lagos and Ogun are yet lift the lockdown order placed on churches owing to the to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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The CAN Chairman in a statement through his Special Assistant for Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, called on state governors yet to open churches to do so without further delay.

The CAN boss argued that if the country’s economy and that of all states can be opened, there’s no point keeping churches under lock and key.

While stating that the body is aware of the government’s commitment to fighting the dreaded virus, Adebayo explains that the church also has a divine role to play in the process.

The statement reads in full;
“The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle, on behalf of the Association, has called on all State governments that are yet to reopen churches under their watches to do so now because the continued lockdown order on the places of worship is no longer acceptable and reasonably justified.

“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 like Lagos and Ogun are yet to allow worship places, especially churches, to be reopened. 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 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 road side 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 contact the virus in the markets and airports?

“It is our opinion that while the government and other relevant stakeholders are working hard to get cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church too has a role to play by seeking for divine solutions as well”.

“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 worship to return to places of worship,” he concluded.

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