Following non-compliance with earlier pronouncement on religious gathering in Lagos, the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday directed law enforcement agencies to arrest and disperse any large gatherings to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the state.
The governor gave the directive in a live broadcast, following reports that several religious outfits defied the order earlier issued by the government and conducted their services, including the Friday Jum’mat congregational prayer.
This was as he cautioned residents against panic-buying of the Chloroquine drug, foodstuff, and other household items.
“To protect and save lives, law enforcement agencies, especially the police, have been directed to enforce compliance with the directive against any assemblage of a large number of people at any location.
“You will all agree with me that these times call for us all to act responsibly and abstain from all large outings or gatherings of any kind, be they academic, family, professional, political, religious or social”, the governor added.
The governor, while justifying his action, contended that investigation revealed that the disease often spread easily at a large gathering, noting that in South Korea, and Singapore, the disease spread largely through organized religious gatherings.
“In South Korea and Singapore, the disease spread largely through organized religious gatherings. The issue is, of course, is not religion, but that the virus can spread through any large assemblage of people or gathering,” the governor said.
Speaking further, Governor Sanwo-Olu ordered that all tertiary institutions in the state should shut down immediately to also prevent any further spread of the disease.
“We have also, following due consultations, announced the closure of all public and private schools in Lagos State with effect from next Monday, March 23, 2020; and I hereby direct that all Lagos State tertiary institutions shut down immediately,” he said.