Coronavirus: Lagos govt shuts mosque over attack on task force officials

Worshippers at Agege Central Mosque
Worshippers at Agege Central Mosque

The Lagos State Government on Thursday shut Agege Central Mosque over an attack on officers of the state joint task force monitoring compliance with the social distancing directive of the government.

The central mosque was shut down indefinitely by the officials of the Agege Local Government Council, PREMIUM TIMES was informed.

Worshippers at the mosque in their large number allegedly attacked the task force officials out to ensure public gatherings do not exceed 25 people.

Bola Ajao, the spokesperson of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), said over 300 worshippers launched the attack on the officials, throwing pebbles at their vehicles as well.

“The team saw the Muslim faithful observing their solatul ishal in a large congregation contrary to the directive of total lockdown order of President Muhammad Buhari in order to stem the tide of the pandemic.

“A drama, however, ensued at the sight of government officials, the youth became aggressive and unruly with targeted attack on the officials. The crowd numbering about 300 rushed out of the mosque, chanting ALLAH Akbar and started throwing stones and hitting the vehicles. All entreaties to talk to the imam failed as the youth were unabated. The police were able to curtail the atmosphere and ensure safety of the team,” she said.

The enforcement exercise was carried out on Tuesday by the state Special taskforce on COVID-19 consisting of LASEPA, Lagos Safety Commission, the Rapid Response and the Task force.

The agency said the team paid a visit to the mosque last week to sensitise on the pandemic and solicit compliance with measures.

Dolapo Fasawe, the General manager of LASEPA, while condemning the attack on the officials, said the gathering failed to comply with the executive order as the mosque was filled to capacity.

“The essence of social distancing is to curtain the spread of coronavirus. The people are endangering their lives and those of their neighbors. The government has a duty to protect the lives of the people,” she said.

Lanre Mojola, the Director-General of the Lagos Safety Commission, said the task force will not relent in ensuring compliance with the government’s directive and urged residents to comply with the directive.


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