Nigeria: Worshippers Attack Task Force in Lagos

2 April 2020

The Lagos State COVID-19 Taskforce was wednesday attacked by worshippers who were observing their Solatul ishal in a large congregation in Agege Central Mosque contrary to government's directive for a lockdown of the state as part of measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

This is coming as some residents of Ogba in Lagos State have defied the mandatory lockdown imposed on the state by President Muhammadu Buhari to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The taskforce, which comprised of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos Safety Commission, and the Rapid Respond Squad, was inaugurated to enforce the executive orders of the federal government towards controlling the spread of COVID-19.

However, a drama was said to have ensued at the sight of government officials as the youths were said to have attacked the officials.

The General Manager, LASEPA, Dolapo Fasawe said: "The crowd numbering about 300 rushed out of the mosque, chanting Allah Akbar and started throwing stones and hitting the vehicles. All moves to talk to the imam failed as the youths were unabated. The police were able to curtail the atmosphere and ensure safety of the team."

She condemned the attack and described it as barbaric and uncalled for.

"Our people are out to protect the lives of the residents of the state and yet were attacked for doing their jobs. The state will not hesitate to sanction violators to serve as deterrent to others".

On his own part, the Director General of Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola said the leadership of the two prominent religions have been sensitised and carried along in the fight against the pandemic.

"We won't relent. We will continue to appeal to our people to heed to advice. Prayers can be observed at home. Businesses can be resuscitated but this deadly virus is dangerous if not well managed and timely controlled."

Meanwhile, some residents of Ogba in Lagos State have defied the mandatory lockdown imposed on the state.

THISDAY sighted pedestrians loitering the streets of Ogba, while cars, though scanty, moved uninterrupted.

While law enforcement officers in their mounted duty posts challenged pedestrians for violating curfew , most of the pedestrians pleaded they were heading to the hospital on a visit to their relatives on admission, while some pleaded they were haunting for food.

While medical experts have advised social distancing to curb transmission of the deadly virus, some residents were seen in groups at newspaper stand discussing the COVID-19 development in the country. Ogba streets were also converted into mini-field, and youths were seen playing football despite social distancing warnings.

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