James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
The Ogun State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has appealed to the heads of denominations, churches, leaders, and ministers in the state to work towards meeting the safety guidelines highlighted by the state government ahead of the reopening of churches on August 16.
The State CAN Chairman, Bishop ‘Tunde Akin-Akinsanya, who was reacting to the tentative lifting of the ban on religious centres by Governor Dapo Abiodun, said it was necessary for churches to abide by the laid down guidelines to avoid “embarrassments and sanctions.”
Akin – Akinsanya in a release made available to Vanguard, commended Governor Abiodun for his understanding and support that allowed for peaceful engagements with religious leaders and other stakeholders throughout the trying period.
The Bishop, however, reminded Christians that the COVID-19 Pandemic is real and out there, advising them to adhere to the safety measures as well as faithfully and humbly seek the face of the Lord in prayers for an end to the scourge.
He stated: “To the glory of God, the Governor in his Press
Conference of Wednesday 29th July 2020 announced the relaxation of lockdown on worship centers with effect from Friday 14th and Sunday 16th August 2020 for both the Muslims and Christians respectfully. I thank God that His Excellency granted our two requests on the duration and number of worshippers for each service.
“I hereby appeal to all Heads of Denominations/Churches and their ministers to prepare adequately according to the guidelines in our various worship centers
“There should be proper monitoring by each denomination to ascertain full compliance to the guidelines so as to avoid embarrassments and sanctions. This policy document will soon be made available to us.
“Our appreciation goes to the Governor of Ogun State, His Excellency, Prince ‘Dapo Abiodun MFR and his entire team for the understanding and support that allowed for peaceful engagements throughout this dark period”.
“Our profound gratitude also goes to all our Heads of Blocs, Heads of Churches, Stakeholders, CAN Officers at all levels and all ministers of the gospel across Ogun State for your patience and cooperation all this while.
“We also appreciate all individuals, clergy and laity, who had also engaged the State Government to intervene in this matter at one point or the other.
“Also, we cannot but salute all our critics, those who felt and said; “we are not doing anything”, “we are not doing enough”, “we have collected money from the government and sold the Church to be shutdown perpetually”, “we are operating illegally”, and so on and so forth.
“They really set us on our toes in this trying time and therefore, they should also be part of the victory. Thank you all. We are so grateful”.
“In closing, let us be reminded that COVID-19 Pandemic is real and is out there. In addition to our adherence to the safety measures, we need to faithfully and humbly seek the face of the Lord in prayers.
“It is time for the body of Christ as intercessors to stand in the gap for our dear State/Nation and seek God’s face for DIVINE INTERVENTION. I am convinced that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shall give us speedy intervention on this plague.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
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