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Worshippers attack Lagos enforcement team on social gathering

By Monsuru Olowoopejo
The Lagos State Government enforcement on social gatherings, parties, and others was halted after Muslim worshippers at the Agege Central Mosque attacked the team for kicking against their convergence at the mosque, an action that was in sharp variance to the state directives on social gathering in the state.
An eyewitness said that the worshippers had converged at the mosque to observe their solatul Ishal (the last daily prayer) in a large congregation, higher than the 25 member congregation announced by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for all religious houses in the state.
It was gathered that the drama started on yesterday night immediately the worshippers’ government officials with youths leaving the Mosque premises to attack the officials.
Residents disclosed that minutes after the arrival of the officials, the youths became aggressive and unruly towards the officials even after they had tried to sensitize them on the need to maintain social distancing and other measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The crowd numbering about 300, an eyewitness said, rushed out of the mosque, chanting ‘ALLAH Akbar’ and pelt members of the enforcement team with stones and hit the vehicles parked by the team.
All efforts to speak with the Imam, was said to have proved abortive were unabated.
The Guild gathered that normalcy was restored after the police curtail the atmosphere and ensure safety of the team.
The enforcement exercise which was carried out by the Lagos state  Special taskforce on coronavirus consisting of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) Lagos Safety Commission, the Rapid Respond and the Taskforce was inaugurated to enforce the executive orders towards controlling the coronavirus spread.
General manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, described actions of the worshippers as barbaric and uncalled for, saying our people are out to protect the lives of the residence and yet were attacked for doing their jobs, the state will not hesitate to sanction violators because this will serve as a deterrent to others.
According to her, it was obvious the gathering did not comply with the executive order because the mosque was filled to capacity. The essence of social distancing is to curtain the spread of coronavirus.
“But the people are endangering their lives and those of their neighbors. The government has a duty to protect the lives of the people she added.
The general manager promised to ensure that appropriate quarters take up the matter, adding that such gathering should not be allowed to continue in the interest of all.
Also, the DG Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola observed that the leadership of the two prominent religions has been sensitized and carried along in the fight against this coronavirus.
“We won’t relent, we continue to appeal to our people to heed to advice, prayers can be observed at home, businesses can be resuscitated but this deadly virus is dangerous if not well managed and timely controlled.  If not for us, but for our families, friends, and neighbors, let us do the needful and observe safety measures at all times, regarding where we are”.

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