CAN President tasks States on re-opening of churches

Ukamaka Okafor, Abuja

Rev Samson Ayokunle, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)

Rev Samson Ayokunle, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has called on State governments in the country that are yet to allow the reopening of churches to address the situation.

In a statement, Rev Ayokunle decried the continued closure of churches when other sectors have resumed operations.

In his words “With the reopening of the economy, especially the markets (both organised and the unorganised) along with the plan to reopen airports and schools, the closure of churches anywhere in the country is no longer tenable and acceptable.

“In what way are the opened and roadside markets more organised than the church which warranted their opening?  “Is it not our members in the places of worship that do go to markets and other sectors opened? “Why are they allowed to go to markets and disallowed from going to places of worship?

“Is it because the marketers cannot contract the virus in the markets and airports?”

He stressed that the church has a spiritual role to play in the fight against the pandemic which has infected nearly 11 million people globally.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government ordered the shutdown of social and economic activities, including churches, in March in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.

It has however started easing many of the restrictions starting in May, including a directive by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 that religious places can reopen starting June 1. Despite the directive, some States are yet to allow the reopening of religious centres, most notably Lagos state, which is the epicentre of the coronavirus in Nigeria.


Zainab Sa’id