By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Following the Federal and Ogun State Governments directives restricting activities of religious bodies, the Nigerian Police has allegedly dispersed and arrested worshippers at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Ibara, Abeokuta.
According to an eyewitness, the law enforcement officers arrived at the church when the Sunday service was already in process.
The reason, according to a Policeman, was that the church violated earlier directives issued by the governments that religious bodies should desist from holding any gathering in the state.
He added that, while many worship centers had suspended their physical service and adopted online mode, the church disregard government warning and went ahead with its Sunday activities.
Earlier, the State Government stressed that enforcement on social gathering will be in effect for the next 30 days in the first instance, before possible review.
“This restriction has to be enforced without prejudice to people’s fundamental rights to association and movement because the safety of our people and their welfare are priorities that cannot be toyed with. The Government will continue to engage all the stakeholders, including our religious leaders to sensitise the populace on the need to maintain social distancing and collective effort to combat this pandemic.
“The Government will continue the surveillance initiatives and intensify sensitisation on COVID-19. This is more so given the peculiarity of its location as the Nation’s Gateway State and its industrial capital. Our epidemiologists and other health workers are working round the clock with Federal agencies and international development agencies to stop the spread of coronavirus.
@PoliceNG Ogun State command disperses and arrests members of st Anne’s Catholic Church, Ibara , Abeokuta, for flaunting @OGSGofficial directives on #COVIDー19. #CoronavirusPandemic #StayAtHome #COVIDIOT #COVID19NIGERIA # pic.twitter.com/X7IeJoXcLj
— OGUN iREPORT (@OGUNiREPORT) March 22, 2020