By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The Ondo state government yesterday shut down at least five churches in Akure, the state capital for violating government’s stay at home directive to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special duties and strategies, Dr Doyin Odebowale who led Special task force of the government to enforce the closure order frowned at the noncompliance attitude by the faithful.
While many churches complied with governor Akeredolu’s directive that no church should hold Sunday service on easter, some churches turned deaf ears to the order.
Church Services went on in churches like Christ apostolic church, Oke-Lisa and ( TAJEM) Irese, that was forcefully lock by the task force though members denied a service was on-going.
Also at Assemblies of God church, Olufoam, Akure the church was locked from outside, only for the taskforce team to force the door open and meet worshippers inside.
It was however like a movie and bad day for the church’s pastor who was caught by men of the taskforce team when he attempted to escape by jumping the fence.
Also, at Gospel church ministry, Irese road, service was interrupted by the special task force team as worshippers took to hiding for fear of being arrested
Some of the faithful denied being in know of government’s directive
Senior Special assistant to the Governor on Special duties and Strategies, Dr Doyin Odebowale said those arrested would be prosecuted.
SITUATION OF EASTER SUNDAY IN ONDO STATE
Majority of Christians in Akure metropolis yesterday complied with the directive of ondo state government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which asked them to observe easter Sunday at home as COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world.
SUNSHINETRUTH correspondent who went round some areas in Akure such as Ondo road, Sijuwade, Ijoka, Fanibi, Adebowale, Alagbaka and Oda road, reports that only very few small churches held easter Sunday worship on violation of the directive.
It was further observed that the streets and major roads in Akure were deserted of human and vehicular movements yesterday’s morning as people stay in-door to mark the easter Sunday celebration in view of ranging coronavirus.
At Orita Obele in Akure South council area , many churches were closed while residents held services in their homes .
A cleruc in Akure, Pastor Tayo Ojo asked the faithful to intensify prayers as everyone unites to kick the virus out of the country.
Also Christian faithful in Akoko and Ore areas of Ondo state celebrated this year’s Easter Sunday in their various homes in line with stay at home order of government.
Our reporter monitored the level of compliance as early as 8am yesterday and reports that there were no worshipers at CAc oke-Isegun Agbaluku Arigidi-Akoko; St Gregory’s Catholic church, Ikare; St George’s Anglican okeagbe-Akoko and St John’s church oyin Akoko among others.
Commenting, two clergymen from Akoko, Venerable Foluso Akerele and Pastor Jacob Oneseneme, commended the directive of the state government and CAN to avert the spread of coronavirus.
However, Apostle Ogunlana arole of C&S church of zion, oke – isegun in ore, said religious lockdown was not d solution to COVID-19 pandemic, adding that fervent prayers should be intensified.