CAN, NMA at loggerheads over Lagos Govt’s decision to fully reopen churches

CAN, NMA at loggerheads over Lagos Govt’s decision to fully reopen churches

The Lagos State chapters of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA); on Sunday, September 20, disagreed over the stance of the state government to reopen churches fully for worship.

While the CAN commended the decision of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to fully reopen churches; saying it is the right thing to do; the NMA described the decision to fully open worship centres in the state as hasty.

CAN Chairman, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, said prayers were responsible for the minimal effects of the virus in the state.

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He added that a minimum of 30 million Nigerians were expected to die from the COVID-19 pandemic; noting, however, that God prevented it.

Bamgbola said, “By the end of February and early March when this thing started; I had access to privileged information from America that a minimum of 40 million Africans would die from this virus and 30 million of them will be Nigerians. But we serve a living God.

“Those who say Nigeria is the most corrupt nation always conclude that ‘one thing they do is to pray’. They have seen that we serve a living God. We thank the governor for listening to us. He has done well after looking at all the variables.”

The cleric, however, added that CAN would ask worship centres to keep to all safety measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

However, in an apposite stance, the Chairman, Lagos NMA Committee on COVID-19 Response, Dr Japhet Olugbodi, said the state should have waited awhile before the full reopening of churches.

He said, “I think we should have tarried a little bit and see what comes out of the reopening of the airports. The strain of COVID-19 in Nigeria is different from the one in some countries…Since we’ve opened the airport, we may have people bringing in another strain of the virus that is different and deadlier than the one in the country.

“We should have seen how that goes first before reopening the economy fully. I understand that people are hard-pressed. But there is a popular saying that goes thus, ‘safety first.’ I think we could have tarried a bit till about another month after reopening of the airports before the full reopening of the economy.”

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