By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has called for caution and vigilance in various worship centres by ensuring strict adherence to safety protocols to avert possible second wave of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
This happened as the state government urged residents to eschew violence and tolerate one another in order to continue to enjoy the current peaceful coexistence.
Speaking at the 2020 International Day for Tolerance, held at NECA House, Alausa, Ikeja, the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said the measures became necessary in view of the low level of adherence to safety protocols on the part of residents as well as the second wave of the pandemic in United States of America, USA, and Europe.
The commissioner said that the state government would continue to need the level of tolerance and cooperation received during the spike of the pandemic, adding that the cooperation assisted the state government in the level of successes recorded and the rate at which the Covid-19 curve was flattened.
He said: “At this juncture, let me reiterate and admonish our beloved people not to relent supporting and understanding the efforts of the Lagos state government, we should not let down our guards, as it is not yet “Uhuru”, the battle against this dreaded virus is yet to be over. All guidelines and safety protocols of mitigating against the COVlD-19 should still be stringently adhered to.
“We are all aware that some countries such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France among others are currently experiencing the second wave of the virus.
“We cannot afford to allow this to happen, I beseech us to continue to use our face masks, wash our hands frequently, and maintain social distance in public places while also using alcohol-based hand sanitizers from tin to time to combat infection or transmission. I believe together, we shall overcome the scourge.”
Elegushi, however, commended Lagos residents for being tolerant with one another, saying during the spike of pandemic, residents exemplified a high sense of humanity as everyone looked out for the wellbeing and welfare of one another.
He added that the state had indeed faced several health and economic challenges recently, noting that the Almighty God has been benevolent to Lagos in particular, coupled with the resilient spirit known to residents and Nigeria in general.
Elegushi said: “The State Government has observed with a high sense of pride, how Lagos residents had risen to the occasion to partner with government in the area of support and donations as exhibited by we” meaning citizens and corporate bodies in providing succor to residents during and after the lockdown, resultant from the spike of the Corona virus.”
While warming operators of the worship centres to comply with the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control, NCDC guidelines to prevent second wave of COVID-19, Elegushi said that the state government might forced to sanctioned any religious houses who failed to obey or comply with the regulations.
He said it is risky to toil with the safety of the worshipers and that of the entire residents by not complying with the COVID-19 preventive measures.
Speaking on tolerance, he said, “Together as one, we all assisted the State Government in propagating the health tips and safe protocols as directed by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, we all cried to the Almighty in our various religious places of worship irrespective of tribes, tongue or religious inclinations.
“This is simply an act of tolerance while the lockdown and economic restriction lasted, residents demonstrated a high level of tolerance and endurance by abiding to the rules as stipulated by the Federal and State governments despite the fact that it interfered with their constitutional human rights.”
Elegushi said that “the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the goals and gains of the THEMES agenda is vigorously pursued and delivered for the good and benefit of all and sundry.”
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