By Joan Odafe
Lagos – Some Lagos residents on Friday expressed mixed reactions over the suspension of the opening of churches, mosques and events places by the Lagos State Government to curb the rising number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Some residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos on Friday that the suspension of the opening of religious places of worship was just a temporary solution.
They urged the state government to come up with lasting solutions by looking at other areas where the virus could easily be spread and ensure they curb it.
Others said the pandemic could only go away when people are allowed to gather in unity to beseech His mercies.
Mr Uche Agwu, who commended the state government said it was a good decision, for now, considering the number of new cases being recorded.
He added that it was not necessary that people worship from the building of religious institutions, saying that churches and mosques could continue to operate virtually.
Agwu, however, expressed his displeasure on how the markets, which were opened for business operated.
“I see it as an avenue for the spread of the virus because no form of social distancing is observed,” he said.
He noted that offices had been compliant in observing the guidelines on social distancing, use of face masks and hand washing.
Agwu urged the state government to ensure that the law enforcement agencies check the spread of the virus, which he said came from unmanned areas such as markets.
Mr John Timothy empathised with the state government for the burden of COVID-19 and it having to take the decision to suspend the resumption of religious places of worship due to the rising number of the pandemic in the state.
He, however, said the government could also have used the religious institutions as a campaign strategy to ensure that people followed the guidelines.
According to him, most people respect their religious leaders and obey their instructions; if they tell the worshippers to do something, they will.
Timothy further said that opening the religious institutions was a way of providing succour to those experiencing one form of trauma or the other as a result of the effects of the pandemic.
Hudu Katsina said: “Government should allow mosques and churches to open so we can unite and pray; if we don’t pray well, the coronavirus will not go away.”
Adamu Yusuf said opening of religious places of worship will give room for people to pray in unity and reduce discrimination in the society.
“I was not happy when I heard the news. When we come together to pray, there is oneness.
“There’s no discrimination between the rich and the common man.
“When we pray separately, they’re far from us and don’t know our challenges and how to help us,” he said.